The surviving wives and children of the late Major General Abdullahi Iyanda Muraina are locked in a bitter dispute in court over the multi-billion-naira properties the ex-army general reportedly purchased with public funds earmarked for arms procurement for the military to fight terrorism.
It had been gathered that Muraina’s wives and children were before the Upper Area Court in Gudu, Abuja, Federal Capital Territory to seek the court’s intervention in the distribution of his estate in accordance with Islamic law of inheritance.
The houses and landed properties involved include House 21, Mohammed Isma Street, Asokoro District, FCT Abuja; Mauve Lounge, Ring Road, Ibadan, Oyo State; Mauve 21 Event Centre, Ring Road, Ibadan, Oyo State; Smart Bridge Plaza, Utako District, FCT Abuja; Pathfield Plaza, Gwarinpa, FCT Abuja; House 826, Palm Estate, Maitama, Abuja and 17, Congo Street, Sun City Estate, Abuja.
Other properties being disputed over by the family before the court include 19, Congo Street, Sun City Estate, Abuja; House at 11, Barcelona Street, Suncity Estate, FCT Abuja; House at Benue Street, Suncity Estate, FCT Abuja; Dilay Farms, Keffi, Nasarawa State; House at Oka Akoko Close, Garki, FCT Abuja; Yalid Petroleum, Fuel Station along Abuja-Keffi Expressway; No. 3, Onikoko Estate, opposite SSG’s House, Ikolaba, Ibadan, Oyo State; 11B, Mahogany Street, Forest Hill Estate, Jericho, Ibadan, Oyo State; Acres of land at Akinajo Village via Arunlogun area, Oyo State; Block V, Plot 98, New Government Reservation Area, Jericho, Ibadan; Plot 55, Phase 1, Stage III, Ajoda New Town Corporation, Ibadan and a storey building at 16, Awolowo Avenue, Bodija, Ibadan, Oyo State.
His vehicles which are also subjects of dispute are Toyota Avalon 2013 (Bulletproof), Lexus LX 570 2013 (Bulletproof), Ford Explorer 2013 SUV, Toyota Hiace 14-Seater Hummer Bus, 2015 Ford Truck and One Toyota Corolla.
Muraina died in a hospital in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) last September.
It was learnt that Muraina died intestate, that is, without leaving instructions about who should receive his property, leading to the bitter dispute between his wives – Alhaja Peju Muraina and Ann Usiagu-Muraina and their children.
The late Muraina who died aged 64 hailed Oyo State and was until his death the 23rd President and Chairman of the Council of the Nigerian Institute of Management (Chartered). Muraina was also a former Chief of Accounts and Budget at the Nigerian Army Headquarters.
A source told SaharaReporters that Muraina was indicted for arms procurement fraud in 2016 by the panel on Arms Procurement set up by former President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015.
The source, however, added that nothing came out of it.
“Muraina was one of the officers indicted in our audit report in 2016. The panel on Arms Procurement set up by then-President Muhammadu Buhari indicted this fellow, but the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) did nothing to implement the said report.
“The EFCC also did not arraign him in any court. General Muraina owned all the properties listed in the September 2, 2023 THISDAY publication as he was the Chief of Accounts and Budget at the Army Headquarters.
“You can now begin to wonder how much the Chief of Army Staff he served under looted. This is exactly why Boko Haram and other non-state actors waging wars against the state have not been defeated. It serves the interest of a few to keep fighting the wars.
“For the Abuja properties alone, the Asokoro, Utako properties are valued above N1 billion each,” a member of the panel said.
The source added the late military officer did not purchase the properties – now subjects of legal dispute – with his legitimate earnings while in service.
The presidential panel set up by President Buhari through the Office of the National Security Adviser to probe arms procurement between 2007 and 2015 submitted its first report in November 2015 and its second report in January 2016.
The panel uncovered massive fraud in the Nigerian Army.
Following its first report, Buhari ordered the EFCC to investigate 18 serving and retired military officers, mainly from the Air Force.
An investigation by The PUNCH revealed that the panel, which has Air Vice Marshal J. O. Ode (retd.) as its chairman gathered that part of the panel’s discovery was that the total amount involved in arms fraud was $15 billion and not $2.1 billion.
In a public notice published by THISDAY on September 1, 2023, titled ‘Caveat Emptor (Let the buyer beware)’, Ann Usiagu-Muraina’s lawyers warned the general public against buying any of these properties in dispute.
Her lawyers, A.I. Arotiowa Esq. and Jeph C. Njikonye (SAN) and Co. placed the caveat emptor on the landed properties and the six vehicles, some of which are bulletproof.