By Olakunle Olafioye
THE Nigerian Army has debunked a report by an online news medium, alleging that the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), General Tukur Buratai, and his two wives are joint owners of a Dubai property which was allegedly paid for in one transaction .
This is contained in a press statement signed by Colonel Sani Kukasheka Usman, Acting Director, Army Public Relations.
The statement, which also denied the allegation that the Chief of Army Staff operates an account with Skye Bank as alleged, said the army chief has never been involved in any form of shady or dishonest transaction.
While noting that such baseless allegations against the army chief was not a new development, the statement said, “In March this year, group of individuals under the aegis of “Concerned Citizens”, tried same smear campaign to their disappointment, it could not fly, because it was not true. “You will recall early this week, there was similar campaign of calumny by yet another online news medium, The Cable, in which among other things, it alleged that Nigerian Army personnel wounded in action were abandoned by the Army, government and the nation which is not true.
“The online news medium this evening uploaded another campaign of calumny allegedly based on a petition by obviously fake and non-existent group it described as “Concerned Soldiers and Officers from the North-east. The allegations contained in the Sahara Reporters write up are baseless and not correct. It is a fact that the Buratai family has two properties in Dubai that were paid for on installments through personal savings three years ago. This, along with other personal assets, has 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 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.
“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.”