Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, HURIWA, has asked a former Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Yusuf Buratai, to go to court over a recent allegation propagated against him by a section of the media.
Report made the rounds on Friday that the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC, had recovered N1.85 billion from a house and office said to belong to Buratai in Abuja.
The allegedly recovered huge sum was said to be part of the billions of naira earmarked for the purchase of arms and ammunition by the Buhari administration
But the ICPC came out to deny the report of recovery of N170 million cash, $220,965, G-Wagon and other items from Buratai, who is the current Nigerian Ambassador to Benin Republic.
In a swift reaction, the spokesperson of the commission, Azuka Ogugua, said the report was false, adding that the said house does not belong to Buratai
He said that facts available indicate that the property is owned by owner of K Salam Construction Company, a military contractor.
“We in HURIWA read a recent publication on webpage of Sahara Reporters titled “EXCLUSIVE: Anti-graft Agency, ICPC Uncovers Billions In Cash Meant For Arms, Ammunition To Fight Boko Haram In Abuja Home Of Ex-Chief Of Army Staff, Buratai” which was published on 23/06/2022,” the group said in a statement signed by Emmanuel Onwubiko and made available to Daily Post on Friday night.
“We as a civil rights body made up of lots of investigators and media workers with some of the finest investigative sources embedded in Federal and state government agencies, we can categorically confirm and attest to what the legal counsel of the retired military General said and also the ICPC has issued a statement distancing itself from the allegations that the house it invaded belonged to the erstwhile Army Chief.
“We in HURIWA are hereby encouraging the former military chief to file a suit in court to stop these vindictive media campaigns of terrorism which are funded by a top security chief working in the Presidency for political and selfish reasons”.
HURIWA also advised media practitioners to respect the basic tenets of journalism which is objectivity, truthfulness, accuracy and balance.
HURIWA appealed to the Nigerian Union of Journalists and the Guild of Editors and the National Press Conference to roll out training programme for online publishers to educate them on the dangers of spreading fake news.