Over a billion naira were recovered from the former chief of the army staff, Tukur Buratai, according to an operation carried out by ICPC agents.
According to anti-graft sources acquainted with the case, the operation, which was carried out last week, also resulted in the discovery of over 50 expensive watches from the former military commander, including at least two Rolex models.
According to a source, the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit, or NFIU, alerted the ICPC to the cash haul while looking into a man known only as Salisu.
“NFIU discovered that N500 million was paid into Salisu’s account at once and quickly flagged it,” an ICPC source said. “When Salisu 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.”
According to our sources, the NFIU then turned the case over to the ICPC, which dispatched its agents to carry out further inquiries.
When contacted for information regarding the NFIU’s involvement in the operation, a representative did not return calls right away.
Sahara Reporters, who initially reported the raid on Thursday night, pegged the amount of money recovered at at N1.85 billion.
A raid on Mr. Salisu’s home during the ICPC investigation resulted in the recovery of “hundreds of millions of naira, all in new notes,” our source stated.
After the Abuja property was connected to Mr. Buratai, he swiftly left his diplomatic post in the Benin Republic to settle the issue, which resulted in Salisu’s release.
Detectives are looking into the case because they think it may be connected to earmarks for government weaponry purchases.
“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.”
A request for comment made late on Thursday night went unanswered by an ICPC representative.
The anti-graft office lacked a permit to examine Mr. Buratai’s property, the Nigerian ambassador to the Benin Republic informed The Gazette.
Mr. Buratai stated over the phone that “nobody obtained any warrants to search my place.” When questioned if he was verifying the raid and cash recovery from his property, he quickly canceled the conversation and did not respond to further questions.
Under President Muhammadu Buhari, who sailed into office in 2015 touting his anti-corruption credentials, the recovery was the most recent in a series of routine cash recoveries from government officials.