Tukur Buratai, the former Chief of Army Staff (COAS) and Ambassador to Benin Republic, has denied ownership of the seized property, including N1.8 billion, by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), in a property in Abuja.
In a statement dated June 14, the anti-corruption agency had disclosed that its operatives raided a house in Wuse 2, Abuja, belonging to the owner of K Salam Construction Company, a military contractor.
The Commission said it recovered money and other items from the property viz. N175,706,500; $220,965; G-Wagon; 2022 editions of BMW and Mercedes Benz cars; customised mobile phones; several designer wrist watches, including three Rolexes, and some property documents.
Shortly after the recovery, there were reports that the seized property belonged to the former Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai.
Already, the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately recall him as the Ambassador to Benin Republic. However, Buratai had, at a press briefing, through his legal adviser, Ugochukwu Osuagwu, described the reports as a fact-less and concocted one.
While urging the public to disregard the reports, the lawyer said his client has no relationship with the seized properties and the company.
Speaking at the event, Osuagwu said: “We have read through the said fact-less publication and we have sought the views of Lt Gen. T. Y. Buratai (retd) and we can confirm that the said publication is filled with mischief, baseless and concocted.
“Lt. Gen.T.Y. Buratai has no relationship with the said properties nor does he have any relationship with the said K Salam Construction Company Nigeria Limited. These are fabricated lies to criminally defame the image of LT Gen.T.Y. Buratai.
“First, ICPC, in a press release on June 24, 2022, denied any involvement of Lt. Gen.T.Y. Buratai with their investigation of the Wuse 2 property.
“Secondly, the Corporate Affairs Commission, in a letter dated Monday, June 27, 2022, and signed by A.G. Abubakar, clearly exonerated Lt Gen.T.Y. Buratai with any relationship with the said K Salam Construction Company Nigeria Limited. Messrs. Muhammed Ahmed Sallau and Sallau Kabiru are the owners of the said Company. (copy of the Letter from CAC enclosed).
“Thirdly, a check on the FRSC Website on the plate number ABJ98BH attached to the Mercedes Benz is false. Checks show that the said plate number belongs to a Toyota Corolla custom colour.
“We, therefore, use this medium to urge restraint on those who are trying to politicise what is purely a matter being investigated. With ICPC having cleared the air on this subject matter it will be preposterous to now try to politicise the matter.
“Lt. Gen.T. Y Buratai has already notified the relevant law enforcement agencies over the criminal assault by Sahara Reporters and, in due course, they shall be made to answer for their indiscretions.”