Ex-Chief of Army Staff, Buratai denies squandering arms fund

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Former Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai has denied the allegation of squandering with funds meant to procure arms and ammunition while in office.

Buratai, in a statement signed by his lawyer, Osuagwu Ugochukwu, on Friday said his name and other service chiefs were not mentioned during the interview with the National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno

The National Security Adviser (NSA), Babagana Monguno, had in an interview with BBC Hausa Service, said that funds running into billions of naira meant for the procurement of arms and ammunition under the immediate past service chiefs, were unaccounted for.

The immediate past service chiefs are Abayomi Gabriel Olonisakin, Chief of Defence Staff, Abubakar Sadique, chief of Air Staff, Ibok Ekwe Ibas, Chief of Naval Staff, and Tukur Buratai.

Monguno has since denied the report, saying he was quoted out of context.

The full statement reads: “My attention has been drawn to an interview granted BBC by National Security Adviser (NSA) RTD Major General Babagana Monguno wherein he was alleged to have accused former service chiefs of filtering ARMS Fund away.

“I can confirm that LT General Buratai and other ex-service chiefs were never mentioned in the interview and neither was any arms fund missing under the stewardship of LT Gen T.Y Buratai.

“Interestingly, NSA Babagana Monguno has denied making such accusations. We, therefore, urge members of the public to discountenance any such misquoted narrative suggesting sleaze on the integrity of RTD LT Gen T.Y Buratai.

“Anyone interested in knowing how Arms were procured by the ex-service chiefs and particularly LT Gen T.Y Buratai should channel such requests for information to the Ministry of Defence and stop the habit of speculation and false information peddling. Because any attempt to further tarnish the image of the former Chief of Army staff will be resisted legally.”