Yesterday, Sahara Reporters shared a report alleging that the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai and his two wives, owned properties in Dubai that was paid for from the money he allegedly made from "a vehicle contract scam when he, Buratai, was the Director of Procurement at the Army HQ". According to Sahara reporters,
"the Nigerian Army had awarded an apparently bogus contract for the supply of vehicles and motorcycles for the use of troops involved in an anti-terrorism offensive in the North East". The report stated that some aggrieved military officers in the North East who found out about the contract have petitioned President Buhari.
However in a swift reaction, the Nigerian Army has released a statement reacting to the report. According to the statement which was signed by Colonel Sani Kukasheka Usman, Acting Director, Army Public Relations, the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Yusufu Buratai and his family indeed owned two properties in Dubai and that the properties were bought from personal savings
"The allegations contained in the Sahara Reporters write up are baseless and not correct. It is a fact that the Buratai family have two properties in Dubai that were paid for instamentally through personal savings three years ago. This, along with other personal assets have consistently been declared by General Buratai in his Assets Declaration Form as Commander Multinational Joint Task Force Commander and as Chief of Army Staff.
It is pertinent to state that the Chief of Army Staff does not have any account with Skye Bank as alleged, let alone making deposits in the imaginary bank account to the tune of the amount stated in the write up. Similarly, he has not been involved in any form of shady or dishonest transaction, not to talk of “contract scam”.
In addition, General Buratai was never near either Defence Headquarters or Army Headquarters in 2013. It is pertinent to also note that he was never a Director of procurement in Army Headquarters as alleged. As a matter of fact, the Nigerian Army never had a Directorate of Procurement till when he established one last year when he became Chief of Army Staff.
In a bid to rubbish the hard earned reputation and good name of the Chief of Army Staff, these blackmailers will stop at nothing hence all these kinds of mudslinging.
It is really worrisome that some people could condescend so low to fabricate baseless allegation against the Chief of Army Staff for reasons that could best be described as mischievous. It is equally worrisome that Sahara Reporters could lend space for this obvious mischief. We really do not believe that it is because the price is right.
Consequently, the public and indeed all well meaning persons should disregard this round of campaign of calumny against the Chief of Army Staff and similar ones because they are baseless and unfounded.
For the unscrupulous elements and their cohorts, these campaigns would prod the Nigerian Army and indeed the Chief of Army Staff to continue to serve the nation diligently and with utmost zeal.