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Sunday, 2 October 2016

CCB’s clearance, end of controversy on Dubai property – Buratai’s lawyer




The Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai, said on Sunday that his recent clearance by the Code of Conduct Bureau had laid to rest the controversy over his property in Dubai, the United Arab Emirate.
The army chief had been a target of scathing criticism when the news of the property said to be worth a whooping sum of about $1.5m hit the public space earlier in the year.
But Buratai was among 15 former and serving public officers whom the CCB said it had verified the assets declared by them and issued to them the Certificate of Conference Verification/Field Verification.
His lawyer, Ugochukwu Osuagwu, said in Abuja on Sunday that it was the second time the CCB would clear the Chief of Army Staff.
Osuagwu, said Buratai had set a good example by being the first COAS to direct all officers of the Nigerian Army to declare their assets.
He added that Buratai declared his assets in May 2015 while he was the Commander, Multinational Joint Task force, and again on July 25 on his appointment as the COAS.
The lawyer said, “It is interesting to note that Lt Gen. Buratai, who was previously cleared by the CCB, has again been cleared after the CCB completed its verification of asset declaration of Lt.-Gen. Buratai by its officers.
“Note that upon satisfactory completion of the exercise, public officers are issued with certificate of assets conference verification/filed verification as the case may be. With the issuance of satisfactory verification to Lt Gen Buratai, it therefore closes every chapter on the vexed issue whether he declared the said Dubai flat.
“For a serving public officer to be cleared twice by law enforcement agencies, it shows that Gen. Buratai is a clean officer and has nothing to hide.”
Osuagwu said he had earlier this year, acting under the Freedom of Information Act 2011, demanded the contents of the assets declaration form completed and submitted to the CCB by Buratai.
He added that the CCB responded in a letter dated July 11, 2016, signed by Mrs. Ijeanuli Arinze Ofor, with reference number:” CCB/Hq/671/G/1/6” to the effect that the COAS did declare the Dubai property.
Osuagwu urged those, who before now, doubted the integrity of the COAS to have a change of heart and desist from acts and utterances capable of casting Buratai and other public officers in bad light.

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