Lawyers call for probe of Buratai’s claims
Senior lawyers on Wednesday called for further probe of allegations by Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, that some individuals and politicians had been approaching some officers for undisclosed reasons.
According to them, the matter should not end with Buratai merely issuing a statement and warning those involved to desist from such acts.
Activist-lawyer, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), said the officers involved as well as the politicians should be identified.
“I’ll advice the military to investigate properly and if possible set up a special panel over this matter,” Ozekhome said.
The SAN believes the state of affairs in the country was an ideal setting for a military coup, adding that Buratai’s claims should not be treated with kid gloves.
Ozekhome said: “I believe that there is no smoke without fire. I will prefer that the military authorities dig deep down into this apparent kite that has been flown.
“Military coupists never write a love letter to say they they’re coming. They normally strike when the situation is abysmally bad.
“All the coups in Nigeria, from the Kaduna Chukwuma Nzeogwu coup of January 15, 1966, to the Aguiyi Ironsi takeover, to the Gowon counter-coup, which was regarded as the Northern coup against the Igbo coup, to the Murtala Muhammed coup against the Gowon regime, before Murtala Mohammed was killed in February 1976, up to the coup of Gen Muhammadu Buhari of December 31, 1983 against a democratically elected government of Shehu Shagari, up to the Babangida coup of August 27, 1985, before the Abacha coup – all the coups have always been played out when there is so much disaffection and dissatisfaction among the populace.
“So, it is, therefore, not inconceivable that some military personnel, seeing the shambles, the directionlessness, the lack of compass, the state of fixation and melancholy in the country may want to find an extra-legal of having another government.
“Whoever is approaching the military officers, they should find them out. It may be that it is the military officers that are reaching out to the politicians. It could either way – a symbiotic relationship.
“It is difficult for any politician to be bold enough to approach a military man for the purpose of planning a coup.
“I rather believe that it is the other way round. It’s a military man who might say: ‘If we do this, do we have the backing?’
“The politicians do not have the arms and the ammunition and weaponry to carry out a coup. But they have the war chest to sponsor, just as happened in the failed coup of Major Okar on April 22, 1990.”
Constitutional lawyer, Ike Ofuokwu, said Buratai’s warning was not enough.
“It’s not just enough for the COAS to warn his men to desist from hobnobbing with politicians and the allegation swept under the carpet.
“It’s very imperative that further steps are taken through a process of proper and discreet investigation to uncover the reasons for this unholy alliance so as to nip it in the bud if it is inimical to our national security or if it will result in a breach to our democratic dispensation.”