Embattled Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, has been cleared by the Code of Conduct Bureau of any wrongdoing in the $1.5m property he bought in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates. This is according to a statement released by his lawyers.
In the statement, Buratai’s lawyer, Ugochukwu Osuagwu, advised critics to respect the Army chief’s rights to private family life as guaranteed in Section 34 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).
Also, documents obtained from the CCB indicated that in his asset declaration Form CCB – 1 submitted on August 21, 2015, Buratai declared that the properties in Dubai belong to his wife.
Osuagwu said the military chief didn’t make any false declaration, adding that the said property was not acquired after he became the chief of army staff to warrant the invocation of Section 15 (3) of the CCB Act.
He said, “We view the further attempt by some select few to still dwell on this same Dubai properties and criticise the COAS as a veiled attempt to divert his attention from the current war he is waging to secure the country in various troubled spots in Nigeria.
“The COAS complied with Section 15(1) of the Act and included his spouse’s assets in his declarations. That is what the law requires of him and he did not disappoint. The COAS acted lawfully and has not breached any law.”
According to Osuagwu, by a letter dated June 29, 2016, the law firm requested the CCB to clear the air over the said UAE properties.
Osuagwu added, “Without much delay, the CCB responded in its letter dated July 11, 2016, and stated clearly from the asset declaration filed by General Buratai that the said property was duly filed by the Army General and in the spouse’s name.
“Having so declared the property as required of him by law, the Chief of Army Staff has discharged the duty placed on him by the 5th Schedule of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the CCB and Tribunal Act.”
A copy of the CCB’s response to Buratai’s lawyer, forming the basis of Osuagwu’s assertion, was signed by Mrs. Ijeanuli Arinze Ofor, on behalf of the CCB’s chairman, Mr. Sam Saba.