Journalism of Courage

N1.8bn recovered by ICPC: Recall, prosecute retired Chief of Army Staff, Buratai now — PDP

...describes APC as haven for treasury looters

For allegedly being linked to the N1.8 billion allegedly recovered by an anti-graft body, a former Chief of Army Staff (COAS), retired Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, has a case to answer, so says the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

Buratai, who now Nigeria’s Ambassador to Benin Republic, is believed to have acquired the property located at Wuse 11, Abuja where the money was found while in office as the Army Chief from 2015 to 2021 under President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.

Persecondnews recalls that the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) had a few months ago claimed to have recovered N1.8bn in a property located at Wuse 11 Abuja and allegedly belonging to the retired general.

While waiting on the anti graft commission to make public the owner of the money, the PDP on Monday called on President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately recall the Ambassador to Benin Republic and prosecute him for alleged corruption.

In a statement by the spokesman for the PDP,  Debo Ologunagba, the party said Buratai should be recalled and investigated over previous revelation by the National Security Adviser (NSA), Gen. Babagana Monguno, after the exit of Buratai as COAS that the $1bn drawn from the national coffers under the APC administration for the purchase of arms to fight terrorism in the country could not be traced.

Buratai was the COAS at the time the money allegedly got missing.

The NSA had quoted a former COAS, Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru to have said that neither the arms nor the $1billion could be accounted for.

The PDP said: “The assertion by the NSA heightened suspicion on allegations of barefaced looting of money meant to equip our security forces.

“Such corruption under the APC administration has led to the upsurge in unhindered terrorism attacks, mass killing of citizens and loss of many of our gallant fighters in the front in the last seven years

“It is, therefore, of serious interest to Nigerians when reports that the ICPC discovered the sum of N1.8 billion in various currencies, expensive cars and pieces of jewelry secreted in a property in Abuja allegedly linked to the former COAS broke out.

“There are already apprehensions that the discovered money is part of the security fund that was criminally diverted.

“This is especially against the backdrop of the frenzy and spirited efforts by certain quarters linked to the APC to suppress investigation and free flow of information, politicize the matter and sweep it under the carpet

“Nigerians will recall that our Party has on several occasions alerted that the looting of our treasury is officially sanctioned and enabled by the APC administration with its refusal to prosecute those who were alleged and found to have been involved in massive corruption.

“It would also be recalled that the PDP drew attention to plans of the APC to create a slush fund account from monies fraudulently drawn from the national treasury to finance their plot to rig the 2023 general elections.”

The opposition party also linked the alleged vote buying in the just concluded Ekiti State governorship election won by the APC to funds allegedly stolen from government treasury.

“This is evidenced by the massive use of money by the APC to prosecute a vote-buying scheme in the recent Ekiti State Governorship election.

“The prevalence of vote-buying in that election by the APC was even acknowledged by the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Yakubu Mahmood, which prompted the INEC Chairman to demand speedy trial of those arrested for vote-buying in the Ekiti State election.”

On other reported cases of corruption linked to  APC members, the PDP also said: “The reports of massive looting by APC leaders and their cronies in government Ministries, Departments and Agencies further confirm the APC administration as a haven for treasury looters.

“Moreover, the recently exposed looting of N80bn by the suspended Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris, which investigation has now gone cold is suspected to have been engineered by the cabal at a very high level of the APC administration.”

 

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