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Ex-Army Chief, Buratai Threatens Lawsuit Against SaharaReporters For Exposing Recovery Of Billions Of Naira Meant for Arms, Ammunition In Abuja House

Buratai made the threat in a letter signed by his counsel, R.O Atabo, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), to the newspaper.

A former Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Tukur Buratai (retd.) has threatened to sue SaharaReporters for exposing the discovery of billions in cash meant for arms and ammunition to fight Boko Haram in his Abuja home.

Buratai made the threat in a letter signed by his counsel, R.O Atabo, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), to the newspaper.


SaharaReporters had exclusively reported how the ICPC recovered funds (including foreign currencies) from a house registered to someone fronting for Buratai, a military contractor and Managing Director of K Salam Construction Company Nigeria Limited, Mr. Kabiru Sallau.

Also recovered were G-Wagon; 2022 editions of BMW and Mercedes Benz cars; customized mobile phones; several designer wrist watches, including three Rolexes, and some property documents.
Buratai, a retired Lieutenant General was the COAS between 2015 and 2021.[story_link align="left"]111418[/story_link]

In reaction, Buratai demanded from SaharaReporters a retraction with an apology carried with the same prominence on its platform and two national dailies for seven (7) consecutive days.
The retired General also claimed the story had dented his reputation.

The letter reads partly, “Tukur Buratai (hereafter referred to as “our Client”) on whose firm instruction and authority we write you.[story_link align="left"]110929[/story_link]

“We refer to your publication dated 23rd day of June 2022 with the caption “EXCLUSIVE: Anti-graft Agency, ICPC Uncovers Billion of Cash Meant for Arms, Ammunition To Fight Boko Haram in Abuja Home of Ex-Chief of Army Staff,  Buratai.”

“In the said publication, you alleged that the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offenses Commission (ICPC) had recovered N1.85 billion from a house and office said to belong to our Client. It was further reported by you that “the huge cash was part of the billions of Naira earmarked for the purchase of arms and ammunition by the Muhammadu Buhari-led government.”

“This is a very serious allegation capable of brewing hatred and attack by the public against our Client as a former Chief of Army Staff. There is no doubt that Nigerians are seriously concerned about the security situation of the country and the said publication has portrayed our Client as a person responsible for diversion of funds meant for the fight against Boko Haram.

“Consequently, our Client has been exposed to hate, ridicule and embarrassment from members of the public with his friends calling him from different parts of the world to ask for explanations.[story_link align="left"]111201[/story_link]

“The publication is not only false but malicious and an attempt to malign the reputation of our Client. Our Client who is the current Ambassador to Benin Republic rose through the ranks and became a Lieutenant General in the Nigerian Army before his retirement in the year 2021. Our Client who was also a former Chief of Army Staff from July 2015 to 2021 has taken the battle against insurgency to the field with enormous energy and resources as well as loss of field officers.

“By your publication, our Client has been ridiculed as a man without honour, dignity and incapable of representing Nigeria and portrayed as a fraudster/dishonest person before Nigerians and the international community.[story_link align="left"]110875[/story_link]

“We hereby demand that you retract your publication with a public apology to our Client within Seven (7) days of receiving this letter and a public apology to be published in two national dallies in Nigeria.

“TAKE NOTICE that if you fall, neglect and/or refuse to publish the apology within seven (7) from today, we shall not hesitate to commence legal action against your organisation for defamation. It is hoped that you would comply to avoid the unpleasantness of litigation and its attendant consequences.”