he opposition party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to recall the former Chief of Army Staff (COAS) and Ambassador to Benin Republic, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai (rtd), to face investigations over an alleged connection with the N1.8 billion recovered in a property in Abuja.
Reports emerged last week that the anti-graft agency had recovered N170 million cash, $220,965 and a G-Wagon car from the residence of Gen. Buratai.
The Commission, however, through its spokesperson, Azuka Ogugua, denied that the house belonged to Buratai, clarifying that the facts available indicated that the property is owned by owner of K Salam Construction Company, a military contractor.
The PDP in a statement on Sunday by its National Publicity Secretary, Hon. Debo Ologunagba, insisted that the former Army boss should be investigated, saying that its demand is predicated on the earlier assertion by the National Security Adviser (NSA), Gen. Babagana Monguno, after the exit of Gen. Buratai as COAS that the $1bn drawn from the national coffers under the APC administration for the purchase of arms to fight terrorism in our country could not be traced.
The main opposition party stated “That assertion by the NSA heightened suspicion on allegations of barefaced looting of money meant to equip our security forces. Such corruption under the APC administration has led to the upsurge in unhindered terrorism attacks, mass killing of citizens and loss of many of our gallant fighters in the front in the last seven years.
“It is therefore of serious interest to Nigerians when reports that the ICPC discovered the sum of N1.8 billion in various currencies, expensive cars and jewelries secreted in a property in Abuja allegedly linked to the former COAS broke out.
“There are already apprehensions that the discovered money is part of the security fund that was criminally diverted. This is especially against the backdrop of the frenzy and spirited efforts by certain quarters linked to the APC to suppress investigation and free flow of information, politicize the matter and sweep it under the carpet.
“Nigerians will recall that our Party has on several occasions alerted that the looting of our treasury is officially sanctioned and enabled by the APC administration with its refusal to prosecute those who were alleged and found to have been involved in massive corruption.
“It would also be recalled that the PDP drew attention to plans of the APC to create a slush fund account from monies fraudulently drawn from the national treasury to finance their plot to rig the 2023 general elections.
“This is evidenced by the massive use of money by the APC to prosecute a vote buying scheme in the recent Ekiti State Governorship election. The prevalence of vote buying in that election by the APC was even acknowledged by the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Yakubu Mahmood, which prompted the INEC Chairman to demand for speedy trial of those arrested for vote buying in the Ekiti State election.
“The reports of massive looting by APC leaders and their cronies in government Ministries, Departments and Agencies further confirm the APC administration as a haven for treasury looters.
“Moreover, the recently exposed looting of N80bn by the suspended Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris, which investigation has now gone cold is suspected to have been engineered by the cabal at very high level of the APC administration.
“The PDP, standing with Nigerians, insists that Gen. Buratai should return to the country and personally face investigation to clear his name.
”This is because any allegation bordering on looting of funds meant for the fight against terrorism is of grave national concern and consequence. It must be thoroughly investigated and anybody found wanting must be made to face the full weight of the law no matter how highly placed.”