Recovered N1.8bn: Recall Buratai for Investigation, PDP Tells Buhari
*Alleges APC is haven for treasury looters
Chuks Okocha in Abuja
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday called on President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately recall the former Chief of Army Staff (COAS) and Ambassador to Benin Republic, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai (rtd) to face investigations and clear his name over alleged connection with the N1.8 billion recovered by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) in a property in Abuja.
In a statement, the National Publicity Secretary, PDP, Debo Ologunagba, said the party’s demand for the recall and investigation of Buratai was predicated on the earlier assertion by the National Security Adviser (NSA), Gen. Babagana Monguno, after the exit of Buratai as COAS that the $1 billion drawn from the national coffers under the APC administration for the purchase of arms to fight terrorism in the country could not be traced.
The PDP said the assertion by the NSA heightened suspicion on allegations of barefaced looting of money meant to equip the security forces.
According to the PDP, “Such corruption under the APC administration has led to the upsurge in unhindered terrorism attacks, mass killing of citizens and loss of many of our gallant fighters in the front in the last seven years.
“It is therefore of serious interest to Nigerians when reports that the ICPC discovered the sum of N1.8 billion in various currencies, expensive cars and jewelries secreted in a property in Abuja allegedly linked to the former COAS broke out.”
Accordingly, the PDP said, “There are already apprehensions that the discovered money is part of the security fund that was criminally diverted. This is especially against the backdrop of the frenzy and spirited efforts by certain quarters linked to the APC to suppress investigation and free flow of information, politicise the matter and sweep it under the carpet.”
The PDP urged Nigerians to recall that it had on several occasions alleged that the looting of the treasury was officially sanctioned and enabled by the APC administration with its refusal to prosecute those who were alleged and found to have been involved in massive corruption.
It further recalled it had also alleged that the PDP drew attention to plans of the APC to create a slush fund account from monies fraudulently drawn from the national treasury to finance their plot to rig the 2023 general elections.
This, the PDP said was evidenced by the alleged massive use of money by the APC to prosecute a vote buying scheme in the recent Ekiti State Governorship election.
“The prevalence of vote buying in that election by the APC was even acknowledged by the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Yakubu Mahmood, which prompted the INEC Chairman to demand for speedy trial of those arrested for vote buying in the Ekiti State election,” the PDP stated
The PDP also said reports of massive looting by APC leaders and their cronies in government Ministries, Departments and Agencies further confirmed the ruling party was a haven for treasury looters.
Moreover, it said the recent alleged looting of N80 billion by the suspended Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris, “which investigation has now gone cold is suspected to have been engineered by the cabal at very high level of the APC administration.”
In addition, the PDP, the spokesperson said the party is standing with Nigerians, insisting that Buratai should return to the country and personally face investigation to clear his name.
In view of this, the PDP stated: “This is because any allegation bordering on looting of funds meant for the fight against terrorism is of grave national concern and consequence. It must be thoroughly investigated and anybody found wanting must be made to face the full weight of the law no matter how highly placed.”