The attention of leadership of International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law (Intersociety) is drawn to unfolding circumstances trailing the criminal enrichment and illicit acquisition and ownership of multi-billion naira foreign house properties and local industrial farm by the embattled Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Turkur Buratai (a.k.a. Buratai De Butcher). Our attention is also drawn to latest claims by the embattled COAS, to the effect that “Boko Haram Cyber Terrorists and those jealous of his “successes” against Boko Haram insurgency in the Northeast are behind his present ordeal”. The claims are totally fallacious and untrue. The truth is that the COAS, Lt Gen Turkur Buratai (a.k.a. Buratai De Butcher) is roundly haunted by personal greed and spiritual forces of over 1000 unarmed, defenseless and innocent citizens massacred under his operational and vicarious watch and directives.
We wish to recall that the authorities of Sahara Reporters had on 24th of June 2016, released a damning report, heavily indicting the serving COAS (Turkur Buratai) over his acquisition and ownership of multi-billion naira properties while still serving as Nigeria’s COAS. The extensively investigated report with pictures, dates, time, locations and other documentary statistics, was released by the authorities of Sahara Reporters after wide consultations with their legal department on the true position of the law and military convention as they concern the legality or otherwise of a serving military officer in Nigeria acquiring and owning choice house properties in overseas as well as industrial farms in choice areas like Nasarawa State-Abuja axis. On 28th of June 2016, the authorities of Sahara Reporters updated their report with more documentary details on how and when Lt Gen Turkur Buratai paid for and took over his Dubai house properties. The updated report also exposed the COAS industrial and multi-billion naira farm located on Keffi-Abuja Expressway. The most striking of it all was that the Dubai properties were purchased through proxies and the COAS chief employer (Federal Government) was never informed officially of same till date; thereby expressly establishing the two fundamental elements of crime: actus reus (guilty act) and mens rea (guilty mind or intent).
Since then, strong attempts have been made and are still being made by the office of the COAS, the Nigerian Army, the Ministry of Defense and the Federal Government to cover up the report and sweep it under the carpet. Some “human rights” activists and lawyers have also been hired, compromised and paid to organize press conferences and feature in arranged television and radio programs for the purpose of watering down the report and sweeping it under the carpet. Some of them have also been hired to write rebuttal for government hired public relations consultants. One of such rebuttals is presently in circulation under “PRNigeria”, in which the COAS was said to have been investigated and cleared by the Federal Government within 24hours. The latest cover up statement circulated by the referenced, claimed that the COAS breaches no law because “he acquired the Dubai properties as a share holder” and that “he is entitled to own a farm as a serving army officer, which he did since he was a major”.
The COAS had earlier authorized the Nigerian Army to issue a statement where he claimed that “he bought his Dubai properties through his personal savings”. The Ministry of Defense on its part said “the COAS is not criminally and morally culpable because he included the Dubai properties in his Asset Declaration Forms and had declared same more than one to the Army and the Code of Conduct”. The COAS also added more salt to the wound by attempting to whip up “Boko Haram sentiments” as the reason for his present ordeal. He had specifically claimed that his ordeal came as a result of his “successes against Boko Haram terrorism in the Northeast” and that “he is under serious attacks by Boko Haram cyber terrorists” (vivid reference to the authorities of Sahara Reporters and other critical online and social media). As laughable, contradictory and empty as the above defenses are, we are not surprised a bit over same.
The above defenses, to say the least, are fallacious, vexatious, concocted, contradictory, watery, un-legalistic, un-argumentative, immoral, shameless, irresponsible, rotten, unscientific, unverifiable and untenable. The truth is that the COAS is being haunted by souls and blood of over 1000 innocent citizens he vicariously and operationally massacred, in conspiracy with his Commander-in-Chief and Nigeria’s most violent civil president as well as the third butcher-in-chief, retired IGP Solomon Arase. By the combined butchery efforts and roles of the trio and their sub-commanders, over 1000 unarmed, nonviolent, defenseless and innocent citizens, including over 700 Shiite Muslim faithful and over 200 Pro Biafra agitators, were massacred with reckless abandon under a period of nine months. The COAS attracted the wrath of spiritual avengers, rioting and revolting from the cosmic world when he literally abandoned the code of conduct and rules of engagement guiding modern act of soldiering and chose to become a butcher and murderer as well as serial ethnic hater and cleanser in uniform.
Why The Souls & Spirits Of Murdered Innocent Nigerians Rose Against COAS, Turkur Buratai: Under his operational and vicarious directives, unarmed and defenseless citizens were massacred in broad day light and their corpses abducted and unceremoniously buried in secret graves. Under the COAS operational and vicarious directives, in conspiracy with his violent Commander-in-Commander and the murderous ex IGP, Solomon Arase, bodies of dozens of those they massacred and murdered were dumped in burrow pits and when alarms were raised by rights groups, they sent their agents to set them ablaze. Under the operational and vicarious directives of the COAS and Co, over 90 bodies of massacred Igbo/Biafra Heroes Day celebrants, onlookers and passersby were abominably buried in secret mass graves inside Onitsha Army Barracks. As we write, over 15 dead bodies of the Asaba spillover massacre of 30th of May 2016 conducted by Buratai’s soldiers and Arase’s police officers are still dumped at the Asaba Federal Medical Center mortuaries with a firm instruction from the Buhari administration not to release them to their families till date.
Under his operational and vicarious directives, in conspiracy with others, five of 12 unarmed jubilant citizens, massacred by soldiers on 17th of December 2015, were abducted and later dumped at the Onitsha General Hospital, where three of them were later discovered and recovered by their families. Under the COAS operational and vicarious directives, the wounded, receiving emergency medical attentions in various clinics, were abducted by soldiers and many of them made to disappear violently till date.
Under the operational and direct directive of the COAS, over 700 unarmed and innocent Shiite Muslim faithful, exercising their constitutionally guaranteed right to freedom of worship and conscience, were massacred in his presence and under his watch. He further ordered his subordinates to “finish up” the rest, leading to violent invasion of the sect headquarters, killing of others and abduction of the rest to his army headquarters where they were murdered in cold blood and unceremoniously buried in droves in criminal mass graves. Instances are too many to be mentioned.
Totality of the foregoing starkly constitutes the collective angers and wrath of the spiritual avengers, who were untimely, violently and abominably massacred by Lt Gen Turkur Buratai and Company. The violent killings under reference and genocidal treatments meted out to the wounded are universally abominable and abhorred under the international humanitarian and human rights laws and the UN system. Lt Gen Turkur Buratai as a key participant in the past international peace operations or peace missions should tell Nigerians and members of the international community where it is heard that the wounded combatants in armed conflict are abducted from the hospital beds by peacekeeping soldiers, denied medical treatments and murdered in cold blood, not to talk of wounded non-combatants or wounded unarmed civilians in peacetime. The COAS should also inform all and sundry if in the course of his participation or commandeering roles in his past international peace missions, he has witnessed, participated or supervised the setting ablaze of murdered corpses of innocent citizens dumped in burrow pits.
Failed Attempts To Whip Up Boko Haram Sentiments: Contrary to false claims being made by the COAS and the Buhari administration, to the effect that “Boko Haram terrorism in Nigeria has been militarily defeated”, the reverse is totally the case. The horrible state of military and security intelligence in Nigeria is thousands of miles away from matching or taming an internationally average terror insurgency, not to talk of standard or high profile terror insurgency. Bookshops or literatures containing Nigerian originated and written military and security intelligence methodologies and strategies can only be patronized by an army of Maiduguri flies. Most of the standard data and literatures on security situations in Nigeria are those written by foreigners. A typical example is the “CIA Fact Book”. The Australian based “GunPolicy.Org”, for instance, has severally failed to lay its hands on any accurate data on Nigeria, originated from within, as per “number of licit guns in circulation in Nigeria and in right or wrong use, accurate State armoury inventories, number of illicit guns in circulation and their bearers, number of police officers in Nigeria, number of personnel of armed forces in Nigeria as well as accurate crime records and statistics, etc”. The Nigeria’s National Policy on Security was last updated in 1979 and till date, there is no known foreign policy direction for Nigeria, Nigeria’s security intelligence is in tatters and its their armed personnel are beastly, crude, untrained, gun-cultured and graft infested.
These explain why it laughable hearing the Buhari administration and its COAS claiming victory over terror insurgency and when the whereabouts of the likes of Government Akpemuopolo (Tompolo) have defied all government intelligence and security networks and apprehension till date. Therefore it is extremely important to inform that “the concept of Boko Haram” was a half-baked idea nurtured by its original founders, but hijacked by violent and primordial northern politicians and nursemaided into the limelight for the two purposes of capturing northern presidency and uprooting host and guest Christian communities in northern parts of Nigeria.
Owing to huge monetary patronage from crookedly rich northern Muslim politicians, the Boko Haram ranks were easily penetrated and controlled politically, leading to ceding of 70% loyalty or more of its activities, conducts and management to the northern Muslim politicians and sponsors and 30% or less to regional and international radical Islamic networks. Because Boko Haram insurgency is located at land-locked areas of the North or areas without any access to natural resources (such as crude oil bunkering in South-south), its combatants heavily rely on illicit monetary subventions from northern Muslim politicians for survival and oiling of its operational activities.
The operational and logistically challenges faced by remnants of the Boko Haram terror group presently clearly stem from “starvation of funds”, occasioned by near-stoppage of huge political funding formerly enjoyed by the violent group from northern Muslim politicians. Addition to this is substantial adoption of its key quests by the Buhari administration, which include threat to Nigeria’s secularity, escalation of ethno-religious cleansing and its extension to the South-south and Southeast regions using Fulani Janjaweed and violent massacre of Pro Biafra agitators as well as concentration of key political and institutional appointments in the hands of northern Muslims. Boko Haram insurgency’s illicit funding has reportedly dropped by 70%-80%. The current idea being rebranded by some radical northern thinkers, owing to rising militancy in the South-south and the Southeast and latest one in Southwest (between Ogun and Lagos States), is not to fold Boko Haram insurgency, but to retain it as a violent political option, to be determined by unfolding state of social downturns in the country.
It is therefore morally reprehensible and totally condemnable for the COAS to hide under non existing counter Boko Haram insurgency successes to whip up sentiments over his immoral and criminally indictable acquisition and ownership of the multi-billion naira properties in Dubai and North-central Nigeria. The most laughable aspect of it all is that the more his hired defenders try to defend him, the more the COAS is exposed.
For instance, for those who claimed that the COAS bought his illicit Dubai properties as “a shareholder” and not as a sole owner, does it mean that if a public official or serving soldier loots or diverts public funds of, say; N7B and invests it in a multi-national corporation with multi shareholders, he is no longer a public looter and criminal because he is now a shareholder? Did COAS, Turkur Buratai notify his employer: Federal Government, in writing before making such huge external investments as a serving soldier? For the COAS who said he procured the properties with his salary savings, how much are his monthly salary and other allowances and how much did he save and for how long? How many of his children have died of starvation or dropped out of the school or denied medical treatments or denied shelter or clothing or leisure as a result of his savings for the properties? Why using proxies for such investments if he has no criminal intent? Why the lodgments in quick succession? For those who said the COAS was transparent in purchase of the Dubai properties because he declared same in his Asset Declaration Forms; does it mean that once a serving soldier or public officer loots or steals public funds and declares same in the CCB Forms, he is instantly not criminally liable or a public plunderer?
For those who said the COAS was constitutionally entitled to own farm as a serving soldier and that he owned a farm even when he was a major; what category of farm did he own, subsistent or industrial? Can he also own a farm with worth or values substantially fatter than all his military career earnings put together, assuming they are unspent? What were his total military career earnings and savings in 1980s as a major in the army during which he bought the large expanse of land for farm that is now registered as Turkur & Turkur Farm Limited, having been enlisted into army 3rd January 1981 and commissioned 2nd Lieutenant in 1983? Was there any concrete evidence that he borrowed commercial loans to set up such industrial farm? Is Lt Gen Turkur Buratai as a salaried serving soldier a part time or full time serving army officer? Is he a professional businessman or a professional soldier?
We are not bordered much about obvious efforts by the Buhari administration to cover up and sweep under the carpet the indefensible criminality under reference, but we are deeply shocked and alarmed over the attempts of the same Government to ride on the collective intelligence of all Nigerians and members of the international community by forcing them to believe by fire by force that “a black kettle is no longer black but purely white”. This is not the first time the Buhari administration is shielding the COAS from abnormalities. The COAS, by records of his service, was due for statutory retirement since 3rd of January 2016, after completing mandatory 35 years of service and exempted from the newly created Harmonized Terms and Condition of Services Officers (HTACOS), 2012 (Revised) applicable to senior officers of the armed forces, from those in Course 36, except COAS, Lt Gen Turkur Buratai who belongs to Course 29. But the Buhari administration adamantly retained him, yet it went ahead under no excusable grounds to sack prematurely dozens of bright and young military officers dominated by Southeast and South-south zones.
We wish to end this publication by reminding Lt Gen Turkur Buratai again that forces behind his ordeal are not “Boko Haram Cyber Terrorists” or “those unhappy with his (non-existent) counter Boko Haram insurgency successes”; rather, the real forces behind his ordeal are personal greed and spiritual forces of over 1000 defenseless and innocent Nigerians, he operationally and vicariously massacred, whose souls and blood are rioting and revolting from the cosmic world, following their violent and abominable murders and generationally curse-ridden burning of their bodies and interment in hidden mass graves without any form of orthodox or unorthodox appeasement of their souls.
Therefore, he who desecrates a sacred land shall be ready to wrestle with its benevolent and malevolent spiritual forces and no matter how armed and gallant a general is, he can never withstand the sound of a spiritual music. A general, who shoots at a ghost, has made himself an instant victim of back to sender, because ghost and live bullet have no commonality.
For: International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law (Intersociety)
Emeka Umeagbalasi, Board Chairman
Mobile Line: +2348174090052
Obianuju Joy Igboeli, Esq.
Head, Civil Liberties & Rule of Law Program
Mobile Line: +234803418632