The legal team of the former Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt General T.Y. Buratai (Retd), has reacted to an online publication on the former army chief in relation to an alleged discovery of billions in cash meant for arms and ammunition to fight Boko Haram in his Abuja home, describing the allegations as a sponsored smear campaign against the COAS person and sheer fabrication.
The team led by the legal advisor, Osuagwu Ugochukwu (ESQ), on Friday, said the allegations are false, concocted to tarnish the image of the Ambassador and are malicious.
Osuagwu in his reaction stated that “my attention has been drawn to a recent publication on the webpage of Sahara reporters titled “EXCLUSIVE: Anti-graft Agency, ICPC Uncovers Billions In Cash Meant For Arms, Ammunition To Fight Boko Haram In Abuja Home Of Ex-Chief Of Army Staff, Buratai” which was published on 23/06/2022.
“I have gone through the said publication and have interfaced with Ambassador T.Y.Buratai and can authoritatively say that the content of the publication is false, concocted and malicious.
“It is on record that on or about April 5, 2018, President Muhammadu Buhari approved the purchase of equipment worth $1bn for the military through the Ministry of Defence.
“It is a fact that the first batch of six Super Tucano fighter jets arrived Nigeria on July 22, 2021, while the final batch of the 12 A-29 Super Tucano fighter jets arrived on October 18, 2021. No arms fund is ever missing contrary to some previous mischievous publications.”
According to him, it should be put on record that no such amount N850M or any similar sum, was found with Ambassador Buratai nor does he have any aide bearing such name as mentioned in the report.
He added that “Ambassador Buratai has no office or house in Wuse, Abuja (address not supplied by SR), nor does he have any bulletproof cars, BMW, G-Wagon (Particulars of the vehicle not also supplied by SR) worth N450m and neither is ICPC investigating any of such allegations.
“We view this as an orchestrated act aimed at tarnishing the image of LT General T.Y Buratai and we shall take all legal steps to hold the publishers accountable for such grievous character assassination on the image of LT.T.Y Buratai(RTD).”
Meanwhile, the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has described as inaccurate, the report about the Commission’s raid on an Abuja property allegedly owned by the former Chief of Army Staff, Buratai.
In a press statement signed by Mrs Azuka Ogugua, the ICPC stated that the reports were concocted.
“The attention of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has been drawn to some inaccurate and concocted reports in the media about the seizure of multibillion-naira cash, dollars, Rolex watches stockpiled in an Abuja property” the Commission stated.
The statement further revealed that the said property located in Wuse 2 of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, is owned by owner of K Salam Construction Company, a military contractor.
“The Commission wishes to state that ICPC operatives raided a property in Wuse 2 of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, on Thursday, 16th June, 2022 between 5:00pm and 12:00am in suspicion of money laundering. Facts available for the time being indicate that the property is owned by owner of K Salam Construction Company, a military contractor”, it said adding that the operatives recovered money and other items from the property viz-a-viz N175,706,500; $220,965; G-Wagon; 2022 editions of BMW and Mercedes Benz cars; customized mobile phones; several designer wrist watches, including three Rolexes, and some property documents.
“The Commission arrested the Managing Director of K Salam Construction Company Nigeria Limited, Mr. Kabiru Sallau and investigation is ongoing”, it said further.