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ICPC raids Ex-Chief of Army Staff's resident, uncovers expensive bullet proof cars, billions of naira in cash meant for ammunitions to help Nigerian Soldiers fight Boko Haram

Operatives of the Independent Corruption Practices and other Related Offenses Commission (ICPC) have conducted an operation that led to the recovery of over a billion naira from the former chief of army staff Tukur Buratai.

Peoples Gazette gathered that the operation, which was conducted last week, also led to the recovery of over 50 luxury watches, including at least two Rolex varieties, from the former military commander, according to anti-graft officials familiar with the matter.

A source said the ICPC was tipped off about the cash haul by the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit, NFIU, during a probe of a man identified only as Salisu.

A spokesman for the NFIU did not immediately answer calls when contacted by Peoples Gazette seeking comments about the agency’s role in the operation

The raid was first reported on Thursday night by Sahara Reporters, which estimated the recovered funds at about N1.85 billion.

SaharaReporters gathered that 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. 

Detectives are investigating the case as potentially tied to federal arms procurement earmarks.

“We discovered that the place is owned by Buratai and he has been working with the man to loot military funds for many years,” one of our sources added. 

“It is unfortunate that Nigerian soldiers are suffering at the war front due to lack of equipment."

Mr Buratai, Nigerian ambassador to the Benin Republic, told The Gazette the anti-graft office had no warrant to search his property.

“Nobody obtained any warrants to search my place,” Mr Buratai said by telephone. He abruptly disconnected the call when asked whether or not he was confirming the raid and cash recovery from his property — and did not answer subsequent attempts. The Gazette had reported

The recovery marked the latest in regular cash recoveries from government officials under President Muhammadu Buhari, who cruised to office in 2015 repeating his anti-corruption credentials.

Nigerian military fighting against the Boko Haram and other insurgencies has always complained of inadequate funding for upkeep and in weaponry.

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.

Tukur Burutai was also appointed by President Buhari as Nigeria's Ambassador to Benin Republic in June 2021.

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