SaharaReporters has published the results of its investigation in the property owned by Lieutenant General Tukur Yusuf Buratai, the chief of army staff of Nigeria, and his family.
According to the media outlet, the general and his two spouses own a property, namely a house, in Dubai, which was bought through one transaction.
Second-hand vehicle contract scam
The journalists claim that the funds for the purchase of the property were taken from a suspicious vehicle contract at the time when Mr. Buratai was the Director of Procurement at the Army Headquarters.
The mentioned vehicles including motorcyles were reportedly meant for use in fights against Boko Haram terrorists in the northeast of the country.
The rumours about the alleged scam forced the Concerned Soldiers and Officers From the North East to petition President Muhammadu Buhari urging him to order an investigation into the contract.
According to the petitioners, Mr Buratia was acting through his alleged proxy, Usman Gamawa, founder of Baggash Investment Limited.
The old vehicles were reportedly bought in Niger Republic and later refurbished at Mogadishu Cantonment under the supervision of Staff Sergeant Dadan Garba.
“If President Buhari can give service chiefs enough money to buy equipment, why are they buying old ones?” asked the aggrieved petitioners.
The petition claims that the property the Buratais acquired in Dubai was bought from a company, SIGMA 111 Limited. An excerpt from Sahara Reporters’ article reads in part:
According to the document, General Buratai and his wives had, on January 13, 2013, reached an agreement with the seller for the purchase of the property, Project TFG Marina Hotel, Unit 2711.
The asking price was AED 1,542,000.00 (or $419,826.06 or N120m). They alleged that General Buratai paid a total sum of AED 1,498, 534.00 (N115.6m) because the sellers gave concessions of AED 43,466, made up of “incentives, promotions, and early payment bonus.”
The agreement indicating full payment for the house and the handing over of ownership to the Buratais was signed on January 13, 2014. The document identified the COAS as “Mr. Tukur Yusuf Buratai, holder of passport No. A04250623.”
The general’s wives were identified as Mrs. Aishatu Tukur Buratai, holder of passport No. A03400260, and Mrs. Umar Kalsum Tukur Buratai, holder of passport No. A03239920.
The petitioners further claimed that, since his appointment as COAS last July, General Buratai had been making numerous hefty deposits in his various bank accounts. For example, his Skye Bank account (1770380452) received a deposit of N10 million on July 24, 2015.
On August 7, 2015, another N10 million was paid into the same account. Three days later, the account was credited with yet another sum of N10 million. On August 11 and 17, N4 million and N3, 270,000 were credited to the account respectively.”
General Buratais’ reaction to the accusations.
A spokesman to the General Buratai commented on the issue: “Please know that the allegation on the Chief of Army Staff and members of his family owning a property in Dubai is an old one.
It is a fact that the family bought such property through personal savings and [it] was paid for instalmentally since 2013.
It may interest you to know that this petition is not new because there was a similar allegation in March this year, [but] it could not see the light of the day because there was no substance in it.
The mentioned assets were always declared in his asset declaration forms as Commander MNJTF and the most recent one was when he was appointed Chief of Army Staff in July 2015,” the aide stated.
As regards to the contractor, the Chief of Army Staff has nothing to do with it. But when it came to his knowledge, he instituted a commission of inquiry, which investigated it and made far-reaching recommendations which were being implemented.”