Posted by News Express | 5 July 2016 | 2,265 times
The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has endorsed the clean bill of health issued by the Federal Government of Nigeria to the Chief of Army, Staff Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai over the controversy surrounding his family’s acquisition of a property in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates.
Similarly, the rights group has backed the position of the Federal Attorney General and Minister of Justice Alhaji Abubakar Malami (SAN) on the legal imbroglio between Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State and Mr. Uche Ogah in which the nation’s Chief Law Officer had urged all parties to maintain status quo ante bellum while await the final decision of the Appeal Court.
In a statement jointly signed by the National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, and the National Media Affairs Director, Miss Zainab Yusuf, the rights group reiterated its stand that the Chief of Army Staff has consistently maintained the highest standards of transparency and accountability regarding all his official and private financial dealings even as the group has specifically urged ethnic-oriented organisation such as Afenifere to constructively back the leadership of the Nigerian Army under Lt. Gen Buratai in his resolute determination to rout the armed terrorists of Boko Haram.
HURIWA said elder statesmen must guide against activities of blackmailers targeted against Army high command and must as committed patriots, stop being misled by the tissues of lies being spread by a blackmailer over the Dubai property traced to General Buratai.
The group said there was nothing that points to financial wrong doings on the side of the Army Chief given that the said property bought reportedly by his family members from their privately sourced funding facilities were even clearly declared some years back by the Chief of Army Staff before the Code of Conduct Bureau. HURIWA recalled that the Federal Government investigation has cleared Chief of Army Staff of corruption in the alleged ownership of assets in Dubai and military acquisitions.
HURIWA stated thus: “We have it on good authority that investigation has shown that the Dubai investments were based on capital market principles of shareholding. The capital market principle that governed the properties in issue, as it was found by investigators, was like having shares in companies instead of wholly owning the properties.
“After investigating a recent media report over the acquisition of property in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) by General Buratai, the Nigerian government rightly discovered that he and his wives invested as “shareholders” like many other persons in the property mentioned in the publications and were not the sole owners.”
HURIWA said the decision to back the government’s position on General Buratai was reached at the joint boards of trustees meeting held last weekend composed of the hierarchies of 26 Civil Society groups including HURIWA and the Association of African Writers on Human and Peoples Rights (AFRIRIGHTS).
In a four points communiqué the group stated thus; “We note with satisfaction that the Federal Government has come to the defence of the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai, concerning the acquisition of properties in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), saying he was transparent about it.”
“We note specifically that the Minister of Defence, Brig-Gen. Muhammad Mansur Dan-Ali (rtd), gave this backing recently in a well publicised statement signed by his Principal General Staff Officer (PGSO), Brig-Gen. Mohammed Sani Ahmed. We do also express satisfaction that Dan-Ali noted that the Army Chief did not hide the properties, as he declared them on more than one occasion to both the Nigerian Army and Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB).”
HURIWA notes with satisfaction the statement credited to the minister of Defence thus: “It is on record that Lt-Gen. Buratai has declared his assets as Commander of the Multi-National Joint Task Force and as Chief of Army Staff to the Code of Conduct Bureau. These facts are verifiable with the Bureau.”
On the position of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Alhaji Abubakar Malami (SAN) on the Abia legal tussle, the rights group said the Constitution recognises the Courts of Competent jurisdiction as the final authority in this type of adjudication just as it backs the affirmation of the Justice Minister that all parties in the Abia matter must await the decision of the Appellate Courts in this instance.
•Photo shows Comrade Onwubiko.
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