The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has recovered N1.85 billion from a house and office said to belong to former Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai in Abuja, SaharaReporters reports.
Buratai, a retired Lieutenant General was the COAS between 2015 and 2021.
Sources said ICPC officials stormed the house in the Wuse area, beside the National Open University of Nigeria Campus in Abuja last week after it received a tip-off from a whistleblower.
According to SaharaReporters the huge cash was part of the billions of naira earmarked for the purchase of arms and ammunition by the Muhammadu Buhari-led government.
“Last week Thursday, ICPC officials stormed a house in Wuse area of Abuja, beside National Open University and arrested a man, Kabiru Salisu after they saw N850 million cash in the house,” a source told SaharaReporters.
“He claimed the money belonged to Tukur Buratai who was in Cotonou at that time.
“Officials of the ICPC took him to an office where another N1billion in cash was also discovered. Also, bulletproof cars, BMW, G-Wagon worth N450m were recovered.”
“Serious pressure is being mounted to claim money found was only N30m,” another source said.
In March 2021, Nigeria’s National Security Adviser (NSA), Babagana Monguno revealed that funds running into billions of naira meant for the procurement of arms and ammunition under the past service chiefs were unaccounted for.
His revelation came a few months after President Buhari replaced Buratai and other service chiefs.
Others were former Chief of Defence Staff, Gabriel Olonishakin; Chief of Air Staff, Abubakar Sadique and Chief of Naval Staff, Ibok Ibas.
According to Monguno, neither the money nor the arms were on the ground upon the resumption of the new service chiefs.
“Now that he (President Buhari) has brought new people (service chiefs), hopefully, they will devise some ways… I’m not saying the former service chiefs diverted the money, but the money is missing. We don’t know how, and nobody knows for now,” he had said.
“The President will surely probe this matter. As we speak, the Nigerian Governors’ Forum too is also wondering where all the money went. I can assure you the President takes issues of this nature seriously.
“The fact is that preliminary investigation showed the funds are missing and the equipment is nowhere to be found.
“When the new service chiefs assumed office, they also said they did see anything on the ground.”