Relief came the way of Nigeria’s embattled chief of army staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, as the federal government backed him concerning the acquisition of properties in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE). Buratai is being accused of acquiring two properties in Dubai by corrupt means.
The minister of defence, Muhammad Mansur Dan-Ali, said on Monday, June 27, 2016 that the army chief was transparent about the properties as he declared them on more than one occasion to both the Nigerian Army and the Code of Conduct Bureau.
“The ministry of defence has observed with dismay the online media report of involvement of the chief of army staff and his family over ownership of property in Dubai,” the minister said in a statement signed by his principal general staff officer, Brig. Gen. Mohammed Sani Ahmed.
“It is noteworthy that there has been series of concerted efforts in the past by the same medium and its cohorts to tarnish the image of the person of Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai for the reason best known to them, which failed to achieve their desired ulterior motives,” the statement said.
The minister accused “disgruntled and unpatriotic elements” of deliberately releasing the report to tarnish Buratai’s image so as to derail the counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency operations in the North-East.
“The ministry of defence views this as an attempt by some unpatriotic and disgruntled elements to distract the leadership of the Nigerian Armed Forces from the successes of the war against terror particularly in the North East,” he added.
The minister said that “while appreciating the role of the media in nation-building, it wishes to equally advise the media to exhibit a high sense of professionalism in the discharge of their duties, especially when it comes to security and defence related matters.”