Corruption and Underdevelopment

ICPC speaks on raid of alleged ex-COAS Buratai’s Abuja property

By Paul Michael, Abuja

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has cleared the air on an alleged raid of an Abuja property belonging to former Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, where over a billion Naira, luxury wristwatches, and some vehicles were said to have been recovered.

It was reported that operatives of the ICPC last week conducted a raid on the said property following a tipped-off about the cash haul by the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) during a probe of a man identified as Kabiru Sallau.

“NFIU discovered that N500 million was paid into Sallau’s account at once and quickly flagged it.

“When Sallau was queried, he said he was a military contractor, but he was unable to show any evidence of carrying out any contract for the military,” a source told newsmen.

The source added that subsequently, the NFIU transferred the matter to ICPC, which deployed its operatives to conduct additional investigations and it was reported that an estimated N1.85 billion was recovered among other valuables during the raid.

The property in Abuja was thereafter linked to Buratai, who was said to have quickly left his diplomatic base in the Benin Republic to resolve the matter, leading to the release of Sallau.

“We discovered that the place is owned by Buratai and he has been working with the man to loot military funds for many years. It is unfortunate that Nigerian soldiers are suffering at the war front due to lack of equipment,” another source stated.

Reacting on Friday, the spokesperson of ICPC, Azuka Ogugua confirmed that ICPC operatives raided a property in Wuse 2 of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, on Thursday, 16th June 2022 in suspicion of money laundering.

Read Also: Police arrest two suspected armed robbery, fraudsters in Benue

Ogugua did not mention if the property belongs to the former COAS. She, however, said the property is owned by the owner of K Salam Construction Company, a military contractor.

According to her, cash amounting to N175,706,500 and $220,965, as well as G-Wagon, 2022 editions of BMW and Mercedes Benz cars, customized mobile phones, and several designer wrist watches, which include three Rolexes, and some property documents were recovered during the raid.

Ogugua said, “The Commission wishes to state that ICPC operatives raided a property in Wuse 2 of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, on Thursday, 16th June 2022 between 5:00 pm and 12:00 am in suspicion of money laundering. Facts available for the time being indicates that the property is owned by the owner of K Salam Construction Company, a military contractor.

“The Commission recovered money and other items from the property viz. N175,706,500; $220,965; G-Wagon; 2022 editions of BMW and Mercedes Benz cars; customized mobile phones; several designer wrist watches, including three Rolexes, and some property documents.

“The Commission arrested the Managing Director of K Salam Construction Company Nigeria Limited, Mr Kabiru Sallau, and the investigation is ongoing,” Ogugua stated.

She added that the Commission is yet to conclude its investigation, as such would prefer not to preempt its outcome and also avoid the frenzy of a media trial.

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