Buratai threatens legal action over reports linking him to ‘recovered N1.85bn’

Tukur Buratai

Former chief of army Staff Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai has threatened to take legal action against media outfits over reports that his house was raided by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and over a billion naira and luxury items were recovered.

In a statement on Friday by his legal adviser, Osuagwu Ugochukwu, Buratai, who is Nigeria’s ambassador to Benin Republic, described the reports as smear and fabricated tale published to tarnish his image.

The statement said: “I have gone through the said publication and have interfaced with Ambassador T.Y. Buratai and can authoritatively say the content of the publication is false, concocted and malicious.

“It is on record that on or about 5th April 2018 President Muhammadu Buhari had approved the purchase of equipment worth $1bn for the military through the Ministry of Defence. It is a fact that first batch of Six Super Tucano fighter jets arrived Nigeria July 22, 2021 while final batch of the 12 A-29 Super Tucano fighter jets arrived October 18, 2021. No Arms fund is ever missing contrary to some previous mischievous publications.

“For the records no such amount was found with Ambassador Buratai nor does he have any aide bearing such name. Ambassador Buratai has no office or house in Wuse Abuja nor does he have any bulletproof cars, BMW, G-Wagon worth N450m and neither is ICPC investigating any such.

“We view this as an orchestrated act aimed at tarnishing the image of Lt. Gen. Buratai and we shall take all legal steps to hold the publishers accountable for such grievous character assassination on the image of Buratai.”

The ICPC has also debunked the reports, stating that it was the residence of a military contractor, Kabiru Sallau, that was raided in Wuse 2, based on a tip-off, where the items were recovered.