Following the viral news (from reputable Media Organisations) on the burst and arrest of a particular suspect and a military contractor in connection with money laundering tip off from the NFIU, under the watch of erstwhile Chief of Army Staff Lieutenant General Buratai Tukur (Rtd), the Human & Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA Resource Center) has petitioned the Independent Corrupt Practices & Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) to carry out in-depth investigations and adequate prosecution of everyone involved in the malfeasance.
In a statement made available to us, HEDA’s Chairman, Olanrewaju Suraju, who addressed the chairman of ICPC, Professor Bolaji Owasanoye and Chairman of Code of Conduct Bureau, Professor Mohammed Isah said the level of gross abuse of office and other misconducts are unbecoming under this administration.
“HEDA commends ICPC on the recent achievement on the burst and arrest of a particular suspect and a military contractor in connection with money laundering tip off from the NFIU. A media organisation, Saharareporters had published the story connecting the searched building and the money (billions of Naira and Hundreds of thousand US dollars), wristwatches and other items to the former chief of Army Staff and current Nigerian Ambassador to Benin Republic, Retired General Tukur Buratai.
“As a leading Anti-Corruption Organization in Nigeria and Non-partisan Human Rights and Development league with the mandate to protect and promote universally recognized human rights, public accountability, transparency and environmental justice in Nigeria and Africa in accordance with International best standards, we are worried to about such abuse of public trust, hence the need to act fast,”
HEDA, in the petition drew the attention of ICPC to previous cases of misconducts hanging on Buratai. Suraju recalled that an online news outlet; Peoples Gazette had reported that the former Chief of Army Staff; Lieutenant General Buratai Tukur (Rtd) abused his position by lobbying and receiving government contract from the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) through his company Yasiga Nigeria Limited in violation of Section 6 of the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act and also the Corrupt Practices Act 2000.
HEDA boss further revealed that it was reported in 2014, that Lieutenant General Buratai (Rtd) through his company, lobbied and received contracts from NDDC worth over N120,000,000:00 (One Hundred and Twenty Million Naira). The money were received through Yasiga Nig. Ltd’s bank account 1015538180 with UBA bank.
He affirmed that it was also discovered that seven days after the last tranche of payment was received from the NDDC, Mr Buratai, (who was a Major general at the time), transferred N10,000,000:00 (Ten Million Naira) from Yasiga’s account to his personal account. A copy of the bank document of Yasiga Nig. Ltd as obtained from People’s gazette was attached.
“It is trite that a public officer in Governments of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is not allowed to own or be a director or shareholder in any private company and for Lieutenant General Buratai (Rtd) to own and control Yasiga Nig. Ltd, he has violated all extant Acts and Public Service Rules guiding public officers in Nigeria. HEDA chairman told the Code of Conduct Bureau chairman.
“Similarly, Buratai was exposed as having properties in Dubai by the news media, Saharareporters. The military officer defended the breach of code of conduct at the time with the claims of purchasing the properties with proceeds from his little known snakes farm. Just like he had admitted the ownership of the building connected with ICPC discovery of potential money laundering case with the accusation of ICPC conducting the search without a warrant.
“We call on the Commission to diligently investigate the current case in addition to the previous allegations of acquisition of Dubai properties and contracting for the NDDC while serving as a military officer and to prosecute accordingly so as to deter others and further show that the law applies to all Nigerians irrespective of class,”
He charged other Civil Society Organizations not to relent in their fight against improprieties across board no matter who was /is involved. “As a permanent and unapologetic enemy of bad governance, we are not giving up in the fight against any form of misconduct no matter where or when it was done.
“Enough of impunity and lip service war against corruption. This administration must not be lopsided while fighting corruption. ICPC, EFCC, CCB, Judiciary and other agencies must up their games and fish out and deal decisively with every enemy of the State (looters and resource abusers) for the sake divinity,” he implored.