An anti-graft coalition, the Civil Society Network Against Corruption (CSNAC), has urged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate the Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, over alleged diversion of funds to purchase properties in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE).
In a petition forwarded to the anti-graft commission and signed by the group’s chairman, Olanrewaju Suraju, the group said such act was a violation of the law of public service.
According to the group, if the revelation is found to be true, based on evidence adduced by a newspaper, then the actions of the COAS is a great disservice, an act of sabotage against the Nigerian State and a violation of the law prohibiting public officer from investing or participating in any other business safe for farming.
Taking a cue from a publication of June 24, 2016, by Sahara Reporters, an online newspaper, the group said the newspaper revealed how the Chief of Army Staff, Major General Buratai and his two wives were alleged joint owners of a Dubai Property that was paid for in one transaction.
“The funds for the said properties were alleged to have come from a vehicle contract scam, executed while Mr. Buratai was the Director of Procurement at the Army Headquarters. “Our correspondents discovered that 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 Nigeria’s beleaguered northeastern zone”.
According to the publication, “The allegation that General Buratai might have pilfered funds meant for the purchase of military vehicles has sparked outrage among soldiers and officers, especially those from the northeastern part of the country. Two military sources disclosed that irate officers had petitioned President Muhammadu Buhari, urging him to order an investigation into the contract scam”.
“In the petition, exclusively obtained by SaharaReporters, the aggrieved soldiers and officers, under the umbrella of Concerned Soldiers and Officers from the North East, had accused the COAS of executing the contract through a proxy. According to the petitioners, the proxy’s name is Usman Gamawa, founder of Baggash Investment Limited. The petition stated that, rather than supply new vehicles, as contained the contract awarded, Mr. Baggash allegedly purchased second-hand vehicles and motorcycles from Niger Republic.
“On arrival in Nigeria, the vehicles were said to have been refurbished at Mogadishu Cantonment under the supervision of Staff Sergeant Dadan Garba. SaharaReporters said some of the vehicles and motorcycles had since broken down.”