$1.5m Dubai property: Allegation against Buratai diversionary—Groups

•Back Buhari on anti-graft war

A Coalition of Civil Society Groups, on Sunday, described the alleged act of corruption against the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant-General Tukur Buratai, in connection with the ownership of two Dubai mansions, as diversionary and politically-motivated.

The groups, while expressing their support to President Muhammadu Buhari’s fight against corruption, however, denounced the attempt to rope in the army chief and slow down his efforts to annihilate Boko Haram insurgency

President of the coalition of civil society groups, Mr Etuk Bassey Williams, who addressed newsmen in Abuja, revealed that independent investigation by the civil society coalition, indicated that  General Buratai declared his assets in strict compliance with the Code of Conduct Bureau ( CCB)Act, which made it mandatory that all public officers must delare their assets.

According to him, the said Dubai property was discovered to have been declared in the name of his wife in his CCB form submitted in August 2015.

Williams further said investigation also revealed that the said property, which has generated much furore, is a single room property in Dubai bought as an investment for the purpose of generating income from rent as against the false impression of two mansions bought for pleasure.

He  said that the Dubai property was also discovered to have been bought from savings from his salaries and allowances spanning over two decades as a military officer, adding that the cost of the property was less than one quarter of the sum of $1.5 million being speculated in the media.

He added that the property was discovered to have been purchased in 2013, long before his appointment as the Chief of Army Staff.

“The fight against corruption has taken a new dimension in Nigeria since the emergence of President Buhari, whose zero tolerance for corruption has never been in doubt.

“Despite the wheel of justice grinding slowly in the prosecution of corruption cases, the resolute will of the government under the current leadership to aggressively tackle corruption, irrespective of whose ox is gored, is highly commendable.

“It is our firm conviction that the war against corruption should be total, not isolating any individual irrespective of party affiliation, religion or ethnicity.

“However, our restrain in not hastily making a public statement was predicated on the sensitivity of the office concerned, in  the light of the many security challenges facing the country such as the ongoing war against terrorism, the Niger-Delta militancy, the recent rumour of coup and the clash between the military and Shiite sect, to mention but a few, with the military at the centre of it all.