- Demands urgent probe by EFCC
The demand for the resignation and investigation of Lt. General Tukur Buratai, Chief of Army Staff (COAS), has continued to spread like wildfire across the country.
Joining the league, the Executive Chairman of the Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders (CACOL), Comrade. Debo Adeniran, has brought to the fore a seemingly unacknowledged dimension to the story of the Chief Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai’s alleged corruption crimes related to his owning two palatial mansions in Dubai.
This, he said, is sequel to calls from eminent and respected groups and individuals for either the immediate resignation or sack of the Chief Army Staff. He observed that the COAS is currently in the eye of the storm following the revelation that he owns two properties in Dubai, even though both the COAS and the CCB has affirmed that Buratai declared the assets when he passed through the asset declaration processes on two occasions.
“The COAS, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, has, however, failed to resign from his position even with the strident calls for his resignation or that he should be sacked by President Muhammadu Buhari over the Dubai assets valued at about $1.5 million,” Adeniran protested.
Comrade Adeniran argued that the CCB has explanation to give why the assets were purportedly declared, but the Bureau failed to ascertain the value of the properties vis-à-vis the legitimate and provable earnings of the COAS. “The truth is that, we need to be circumspect in approaching the Buratai case, for it is the duty of the CCB to ascertain the value of all assets declared by public officials before it, and bring to the fore if discrepancies exist in the declarations. That is how other agencies like EFFC can swing into action to investigate if financial or economic crimes are being violated,” he declared.
“The reason why the verification of the value of the assets was not carried out by the CCB is suspicious and makes it crucial for the CCB to clear the air, unless, perhaps, the Bureau was in cohorts with the COAS if the allegations against him are proved to be valid,” he added.
Furthermore, he said “this development is also bringing to the fore, once again, the imperative of making assets declarations by all public officials with the CCB public for purpose of transparency and public scrutiny so as to engender public trust in governance. There is absolutely no reason for public officials to hide their assets if they got them through hard work or other legitimate means. One of the major reasons the CCB was created, in the first place, was for the verification of assets declared by public officials so as to nip the tendency to make false assets declaration in the bud,” the CACOL boss argued.
Adeniran called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) not to tarry any longer before swinging into action over the Buratai-Gate. “With benefit of the information on ground, the EFCC must commence investigations into all angles to the case as the Commission is empowered in Section 7 of its Act. How an Army General managed to save $1.5 million has to be explained to Nigerians. Thus, the EFCC needs to thoroughly carry out its investigations, including the verification of the value of the assets declared by the COAS. Should any crime be found to have been committed by the COAS, then, he should be tried and if found guilty, he must resign and face the sanctions of his crime. The same goes for the CCB or any of its officials found have connived in any way” Adeniran concluded.