Why I didn’t receive a dime from Dasuki – Buratai

By Amako Nneji January 25, 2016 14:57

Why I didn’t receive a dime from Dasuki – Buratai

As the call for the arrest and prosecution of the Chief of Army Staff, General Tukur Buratai, intensifies over his alleged involvement in the $2.1 billion arms deal, the army chief has pleaded for safe landing.

The Nigerian Army in a statement on Monday January 25, 2016 signed by the Acting Director Army Public Relations, Col. Sani Kukasheka Usman, exonerated Buratai from any wrong doings, adding that he was never involved in the Dasukigate scandal.

He added that Buratai was the Director of Procurement from 2014 to 2015 not from 2012 as claimed by a group.

Earlier, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, had indicated plans at probing ex-Service Chiefs over their involvement in the $2.1 billion arms deal. Some of the military personnel named are: former Chief of Defence Staff, Alex Badeh (Rtd) and former Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal​ A.N. ​Amosu (Rtd).

However, not satisfied with the names released by the Federal Government, a group under the umbrella of Save the Nation Movement, STNM, on Sunday called on the EFCC to immediately arrest Buratai, alleging that he was in charge of procurement from 2012 to 2015.

In a statement issued at Abuja and signed by its National Secretary, Mazi Steven O. Chilaka, the group said it was concerned that only Air Force Chiefs were listed among those recommended for probe by the committee established to audit the procurement of arms and equipment in the Armed Forces and Defence sector from 2007 to 2015.

See: Army hierarchy divides as EFCC to go after Buratai

In reaction, the Nigerian Army has described the claims made by the group as an orchestrated plot aimed at tarnishing Buratai’s image.

The statement reads in part: “The Nigerian Army has noted with dismay the attempt to rubbish the hard earned name and reputation of the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Yusuf Buratai and the Nigerian Army by a faceless group that called itself “Save the Nation Movement” (STNM) through orchestrated campaign of calumny in the media.

“In a release signed by Steven Chilaka, its “National Secretary” on Sunday, they wanted the Chief of Army Staff to be included among those indicted in the ongoing probe of abuse of funds meant for the procurement of arms simply because he was the Director of Procurement at the Defence Headquarters (DHQ). The public will recall our earlier warning of this type of campaign of calumny against the Nigerian Army and the Chief of Army Staff.

“This has again reared its ugly head again. Unfortunately, the movement could not get their facts right as has always been the case with people with dubious intents. Contrary to their mischief, it should be noted that General Buratai was Director of Procurement at Defence Headquarters from March 2014 to May 2015, not from 2012 to 2015 as they wished to mislead the public. Furthermore, there is the need to educate the ignorant group that, Defence Procurement in Nigeria is decentralised; each Service is responsible for its procurement.

“It is advisable for the group to look elsewhere if they want to attack the Chief of Army Staff. For the avoidance of doubt, the Chief of Army Staff has never been involved in any questionable act throughout his career as military officer let alone when he was at the DHQ. As a matter of fact, the Chief of Army Staff has always been a reference point in exemplary conduct, probity and integrity. It is on record that he voluntarily declared his assets both as Commander MNJTF and as Chief of Army Staff.

“In addition, he has directed all Nigerian Army officers to do so. One wonders what the faceless group’s motive is and why they are in a hurry to rubbish the good name of the Chief Army Staff and the Nigerian Army, when there is a Presidential Panel already working selflessly. Why is the group trying to jump the gun. The military urged the group to allow the investigate panel to do their job.”

See: Tension hits Army Generals as Buhari drops another bombshell