Prominent Nigerians and groups on Monday urged the Federal Government, particularly the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, to investigate the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, for allegedly purchasing $1.5m properties in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates.
Buratai and his two wives were reported last week to have owned $1.5m properties in Dubai.
The National Publicity Secretary of Afenifere, Yinka Odumakin, while reacting to the story said Buratai should be probed over the allegation of the Dubai property scandal.
He stated that “The defence the army put up for him is so silly to be believed outside the barracks. All the earnings of Buratai since he joined the army, if all were saved, cannot buy a house in Dubai, let alone two.
“The army also exposed itself as a lying institution when it said Buratai was never in charge of procurement in writing. The investigation should make Buratai to let the country know that he did other businesses to buy the property in question so that the integrity of the anti-corruption war can be intact.”
“The house could only come legitimately through other businesses outside his pay. The savings from the salaries of any army officer in Nigeria cannot buy a house in Dubai” he told newsmen.
Also, the Executive Director of Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, Adetokunbo Mumuni said it was the duty of the EFCC and the ICPC to investigate Buratai’s claim that the houses purchased in Dubai were done with his personal savings.
He said, “The bulk stops at the table of the EFCC and the ICPC to investigate the COAS. Did Buratai and his two wives acquired the property in Dubai and paid for it in a single transaction? As a civil servant, how much has he received in salaries and emoluments? Are these big enough to acquire the properties? For the anti-corruption war to be seen as fair and not selective, the anti-graft agencies must investigate Buratai. It is their duty.”
On his part, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana, slammed the Nigeria Army for defending Buratai over the Dubai properties.
Falana said it was not the business of the Army to speak for Buratai on the allegations.
He said, “Buratai should willingly invite the CCB, the EFCC, the ICPC to look into the matter. If Buratai was alleged to have unjustly purchased the houses, he has to come out to defend himself. He must show how the money used to purchase the houses was transferred.”