The Nigerian Army has denied claims in an online publication that the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), General Tukur Buratai and his two wives are joint owners of two Dubai properties which were paid for in one transaction in 2013.
The online story had alleged that the properties were acquired when Buratai was Director of Procurement, Nigerian Army in 2013.
While describing the allegations which it said are not new as “baseless and incorrect”, the Army however agreed that General Buratai and his wives own two properties in Dubai which were paid for by installments from savings.
It added that the COAS has always declared the properties in the assets declarations forms he filled while assuming the various offices he has held in recent times.
“It is a fact that the Buratai family have two properties in Dubai that were paid for instamentally through personal savings three years ago.
“This, along with other personal assets have consistently been declared by General Buratai in his Assets Declaration Form as Commander Multinational Joint Task Force Commander and as Chief of Army Staff, the Army said in a statement signed by its acting director, public relations, Colonel Sani Usman.
Though it failed to state when the properties were acquired, the Army however denied insinuations that it was in 2013 when the COAS was director of procurement at Army Headquarters, Abuja.'
Also, the Army denied claims that the funds with which the properties were purchased was deposited in an account with Skye Bank from where it was transferred to Dubai for the purchase.
“It is pertinent to state that the Chief of Army Staff does not have any account with Skye Bank as alleged, let alone making deposits in the imaginary bank account to the tune of the amount stated in the write up.
“Similarly, he has not been involved in any form of shady or dishonest transaction, not to talk of “contract scam”.
“In addition, General Buratai was never near either Defence Headquarters or Army Headquarters in 2013. It is pertinent to also note that he was never a Director of procurement in Army Headquarters as alleged.
“As a matter of fact, the Nigerian Army never had a Directorate of Procurement till when he established one last year when he became Chief of Army Staff.
The Army said the online story based on a petition by a group, “Concerned Soldiers and Officers From the North East,” which it said is non existent is one of the several efforts to tarnish the reputation of the COAS in recent times.
“In a bid to rubbish the hard earned reputation and good name of the Chief of Army Staff, these blackmailers will stop at nothing hence all these kinds of mudslinging.
“It is really worrisome that some people could condescend so low to fabricate baseless allegation against the Chief of Army Staff for reasons that could best be described as mischievous.
“Consequently, the public and indeed all well meaning persons should disregard this round of campaign of calumny against the Chief of Army Staff and similar ones because they are baseless and unfounded.
“For the unscrupulous elements and their cohorts, these campaigns would prod the Nigerian Army and indeed the Chief of Army Staff to continue to serve the nation diligently and with utmost zeal.