INVESTIGATION: Azazi, former NSA, acquires multi-billion naira homes in Abuja

Andrew Azazi's Aso drive Mansions
Andrew Azazi's Aso Drive Abuja Mansions
Andrew Azazi's Aso drive Mansions
Andrew Azazi’s Aso Drive Abuja Mansions

Based on his annual salary as National Security Adviser, Mr Azazi would have to serve for 274 years to earn N1.5 billion, the value of one his new Abuja homes.

Andrew Owoeyi Azazi, a retired military general, recently sacked by the president as National Security Adviser, has retired into posh multi billion naira Abuja homes, which cost far above his known earnings, a PREMIUM TIMES investigation has revealed.

The two exotic homes sit side by side on 19 and 21 Mambila Crescent in Aso Drive, a choice part of the nation’s capital where some of Nigeria’s men of power and means live.

Both mansion-like properties, were bought at the tail of Mr Azazi’s service at the presidency.

Property experts, who we requested to value the houses, estimate that each of the properties is worth at least N1.5 billion.

A third property, recently acquired, is yet undeveloped. It sits behind the two mansions on Mambila Crescent, sharing a fence with their swimming pools but accessible through Olumo Close, off Mambila Crescent.

The home on No. 21 is the retired general’s favourite. It is tastefully furnished, shielded by high voltage security fencing fitted with sophisticated security cameras on all sides.

It is a duplex, fitted with a Barbados-shaped swimming pool at the backyard and boys quarters.

The home, now guarded by hi-tech security gadgets, tall fences and shrubs, also had a troop of soldiers guarding it, neighbours told PREMIUM TIMES.

The property on 19 is a little less busy, seldom used by the retired general and his aides. It is tastefully furnished too, like the general’s favourite but not guarded as much.

It is also a duplex, fitted with a Bahama-styled rectangular swimming pool at the back side, adjacent to the boys quarters.

The undeveloped adjoining property, on No.2 Olumo close, off Mambila Crescent, was acquired at N800 million, sources familiar with the deal told PREMIUM TIMES.

The new plot is currently being developed by First Fingers Construction Limited. The site is concealed from public view, but the ongoing construction on the plot was still at its foundation stage, early August.

Before moving to the Aso Drive estate, the retired general occupied two semi-detached duplexes at 30 Mamman Nasir street in Asokoro.

The Asokoro mansion has no swimming pool and now looks deserted. Neighbours told us Mr. Azazi “no longer come around.”

His public earnings

Mr Azazi’s highest earning was as a military general, where he earned N1.4 million monthly, N16.8 million annually. He earned this perk between 2006 and 2007.

The retired General needed to serve as a military general for 94 years to earn as much to acquire one of his estates through known legitimate earnings.

As a National Security Adviser for 21 months, the retired General earned a total of N5.471 million as annual salary, N455,940.00 monthly and N35,000.00 as duty tour allowance per night. When on official assignment outside the country, he earned a duty tour allowance of USD1000 per night.

Relying on his annual salary as the National Security Adviser, Mr Azazi would serve for 274 years to earn N1.5 billion, the value of one of his apartments.

Mr Azazi was appointed National Security Adviser just as the extremist Boko Haram sect was scaling up its deadly attacks on Nigeria.

At the time, militants in the restive Niger Delta region had just embraced amnesty and the country was battling to repair its oil-dependent economy, largely crippled by the militants.

While in office, General Azazi supervised the expenditure of not more than N304.552 billion of public funds allocated to the intelligence community to check the growing insecurity in the country.

During his tenure, he was severely criticised for presiding over the spending of several billions of naira on security while delivering little or nothing, especially with insecurity spiralling out of control.

Some critics even suggested that a huge chunk of the funds allocated for security went into private pockets of officials.

In his first year in office, Mr Azazi supervised what was left of the N75.047 billion allocated to the intelligence community after he took over from Kayode Are who acted briefly as NSA after Aliyu Gusau left.

In 2011, the security budget surged – just as the Boko Haram terrorist activities too – to N105.240 billion.  Mr Azazi supervised the spending of the funds.

In 2012, the intelligence community got even more money, a scandalous N124.263 billion – just as internal insecurity grew worse.

In the 21 months Mr Azazi served as National Security Adviser, the security budget almost doubled and he supervised the utilization of not less than half the total sum budgeted for the community in those years, 2010-12.

While the worth of Azazi’s favourite home is over 27,000 percent higher than his annual salary, it is a meagre fraction – 1.4 per cent – of the public funds he managed in 2011 alone.

Azazi reacts

When PREMIUM TIMES sought explanations from Mr. Azazi on how he acquired the exotic properties, the general flared up and asked our reporter to “go to sleep.”

“You call me on phone from PREMIUM TIMES to ask how I got money to buy a house?” he asked.

“Go to sleep!” he snapped and then dropped the call.

Later, Mr Azazi sent a text, saying, “Go look for facts my Premium man. I ran Weiboro Properties for over 2 years before I went back to government.”

Since he terminated the call before we could ask all our questions, and didn’t answer subsequent calls, we were unable to get his reaction to suggestions by some critics who believe that he left the NSA post far richer than when he got in.


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Profile

Mr. Azazi is one of Nigeria’s most decorated soldiers. Between May 2006 and June 2007, he wore the ranks of Major General, Lieutenant General and General.

He became the Director of Military Intelligence in 2003, his first major command appointment. He was appointed the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 1 Division, Nigerian Army in January 2005, and subsequently served as Chief of Army Staff (COAS) between 2006 and 2007.

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo appointed him Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) in May 2007.

On August 20, 2008, late President President Umaru Yar’Adua retired Mr. Azazi’s from the army.

He however returned to public service in October 2010 when he was appointed the National Security Adviser by President Jonathan.

His stint in the corridors of power ended sadly in June 2012, when he was abruptly sacked by Mr. Jonathan.

Under Mr. Azazi’s watch, Boko Haram grew into a full terrorist sect, carrying out suicide bombings and engaging security officials in daring gun battles.

In an audacious comment that irked President Jonathan and the ruling party, the retired general blamed the political infighting within the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) for the growing internal insecurity in Nigeria.

That speech spinned him into extensive political discourse and triggered the beginning of his exit from office.

  • MCDAPPY

    why the long wait for one brave individual to rid the country called Nigeria of these greedy bastards?

    • Mpitikwelu_na_Ugwu_Awusa

      U mean invite the same criminals who introduced corruption under IBB. Any retired general in north will tell you that the amount mentioned above are chicken feed. The Nigerian army are nothing but a club of bandits. I am not surprised with this story.

      • Ojukwu

        He is NOT alone, check those retired and serving middle beltan generals carefully. As the saying goes, “Being Minor is Being Mean”. No stone should be left unturned, we a need global justice for the nigeria’s common man who has been trampled under the earth for ages whether the sick Mpitikwelu_na_Ugwu_Igbo likes it or not.

        • Mpitikwelu_na_Ugwu_Awusa

          do you really have to impersonate me here? U are not secured enough with great Ojukwu’s name and you now have to adopt mine. And you say I am the sick one. what a tosser!

  • Abdul Bello

    Since you guys are so concerned about Gen Azazi you should google his name and see what comes up. I don’t see any mention of his becoming chairman of first hydrocarbon Nigeria while he was retired. A company that has acquired a 40 percent stake in an Oml. Even the Weiboro properties mentioned, if you google the name you will see their website. On further investigation of the website you will see several properties that the company claims to have developed. If he owns a property development company and you say he has bought properties, you should at least investigate the company before you come up with sleazy reports. All we see I a picture of a house, can we see proof like c of o’s, proof of Payments etc that can be linked to him. Journalism in Nigeria is a whole lot of crap. We need more proof.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/6N6Z7YY2LP3LDO526CI5BZVG2A Stella-maris

      most nigerians have a problem why do we talk base on tribal sentiment if any one is suspected of corruption and embezzlement he or she should go for it it doesnt matter which part of the country they are from

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_YNS774MQ72FI26P35U74B6W6DE Mayo

    Where is the proof that he owns these houses? This is the problem I have with ‘investigative journalism’ in Nigeria. You accuse people without any shred of evidence.

    Also, on what basis are your ‘property experts’ evaluating the residence when you have not indicated that there are public records about the building?

    I expect better from Premium Times. If you want to write an expose on somebody, get hard/solid evidence. Do not smear people.

    • omo

      Mr. Mayo, do you forget about the Malabo oil and gas? Or the Abachas? Or the gulf oil windfall? Why we Nigerians did not asked for evidence in this regards? What is good for goose is good also for the gander they say!!!

      • Chidi Amadi Ikenna

        What if Azazi owns these houses? Ehhhh? What if he owns these houses? Who are the owners of the billion naira properties in Aso Drive & Aso koro? Is it not uncircumsized Northern elements who ride on the crest of southern money and then still try to spit on our face? In fact, Azazi should try and buy all the houses and then spit right back at their face. Idiots!

        • The Messenger

          You might think your having fun, defending your brother and his ill gotten wealth, but God is watching you defend a thief.
          Sometime in the future “an uncircumcised Northern muslim”would walk into another of your close relatives home and detonate a bomb, killing the whole family. You’ll run to God in prayers for revenge and bla bla bla.
          And God would Reply, “go to 19 and 21 Mambila crescent, that’s were the souls of your loved ones are buried. Some years back, I foresaw this situation, so I inspired someone to release some funds to stop it. The funds were instead used by your Other brother to buy this house. And strangely you foolishly supported him online” Buhahahahahaha. . .you killed your family

  • abip

    His Ijaw kinsmen will come to his defence.The Nigerian armed forces has always been partner to every thing corruption in Nigeria.Azazi is a product of that institution. Nigeria is a country where thieves are adored otherwise the likes of Azazi should have no business around government.Infact this man should be languishing in jail.He is not alone,Azazi is only emulating what his co generals specialises on.
    Some of us strongly believes that the insecurity in Nigeria is a creation of some individuals.Not long ago,the president acknowledged that even in his own government,there are Boko Haram.
    A large percentage of the security votes ends up in the bank accounts of the various security chiefs who claim to have answers to defeating Boko Haram.
    The simple truth is that President Jonathan does not have the capacity to fight corruption,in fact the man is corruption persona.God bless Nigeria

    • blamaco11

      His Ijaw kinsmen? The president who sacked him was an ” Ijaw Kinsmen” how about that, and who exactly are your kinsmen?

  • BelloIbrahim

    This is a very shoddy report and the handiwork of blackmailers and extortionists. Why did they not talk of the 2 houses owned by Nasir El-Rufai in that same area? How about those owned by Nuhu Ribadu or former NSA Gusau who owns more than 8 houses in that area? How did those ones get their own houses?
    I know the roles played by banks in all these things. Too many times, banks are only too willing to support a person of the stature of the NSA for real estate engagements.
    This story is too shallow.
    I see the hand of Idris Alooma Akinbanjo of Premium Times in this.

    • Chidi Amadi Ikenna

      Bello, thank you. There are few of you that speak the truth like this. Former NSA General Gusau recently sold one of his properties n Maitama to the current Zamfara State Governor for almost One Billion Naira! The property is close to Farmers Market and at Owena/Ethiope junction. Go and ask Gusau how he was able to acquire such a property and then ask the current Zamfara State Governor how he was able to get the One Billion he used to buy the property. Ask those questions before you come and ask a retired General from Nigeria’s oil producing region.

  • Chidi Amadi Ikenna

    This report by Premium Times looks as shabby and incoherent as it can be! When did premium times start spewing out such trash? Generals especially someone like General Azazi does not need to buy a house with his own money for God’s sake! There are too many times who will be too willing to dole him the cash and then help him manage the property until they get their money back…..please you guys should do more research. If his kinsman GEJ gives him just one major oil lifting or one of those other oil contracts, Azazi can buy as many far better houses as he likes. Premium Times can do better.

    • Texazzpete

      May God punish you for this stupidity. Is giving (and receiving) oil blocks as ‘gifts’ not corruption? Who will ‘dole’ out billions of cash to a retired general in his 60s? Where is he supposed to legally get the money back?
      All the money your folks spent on your education and you reward them with this stupidity. I weep for your parents.

      • Chidi Amadi Ikenna

        Texazzpete or petty trash of whatever you name is. The fact remains that this report by Premium Times stinks and stinks to high heavens! There is no content and you can easily and quickly decipher that someone is trying to blackmail the General Azazi who I believe is Ijaw. The General should know who the person is and then take action immediately. Worst case, he can send his Ijaw brothers to teach such a reporter a lesson. I hope it is not Idris Alooma Akinbanjo that wrote this nonsense. Next time they want to write investigately, they should give us more information and verified details.
        Meanwhile, who owns Premium Times? Some of us hear that El-Rufai’s hand is in it. It looks to me like a faceless online agency….time will tell.
        I usually do not respond to dafts and monkey skulls…
        Infact why am I even concerned? Who are the people that own more than 80% of the houses in Asokoro or Aso Drive? Are they not the corrupt mallams? These Ijaw people sef are too slow….Hausa people don use them for too long.

        • UNLTD

          You this chidi,may thunder fire your mouth. How an the country ever move forward if people like you are alive. All you are saying now is that if an Ijaw man commits crime we must watch while folding hands,thats silly of you. Because things have been rotten means they should remain rotten? I dont have more to tell you

  • Mpitikwelu_na_Ugwu_Awusa

    Lets face the reality, he is NOT alone. Check those retired and serving middle beltan generals carefully. As the saying goes, “Being Minor is Being Mean”. No stone should be left unturned, we a need global justice for the nigeria’s common man who has been trampled under the earth for ages. The Hausas and the Igbos must UNITE!

    • Mpitikwelu_na_Ugwu_Awusa

      Disclaimer. This is neither my post nor my view. I now have official stalker and impersonator that also go by the name ‘ojukwu’. PT and the general public take note.

  • Nas

    Some people are unnecessarily myopic. For goodness sake, why shouldnt people see things based on their merits rather rather everything is seen from ethnistic, religious or tribal perspective. If Azazi is in possession of what he does not deserve, so what? Let them prove their point and take legal action (if need be)
    If people “dole” him (Gen Azazi) cash as as stated by Chidi in his comment,what does that money stands for? Is Chidi saying Aziza is corrupt? If yes, then he is unknowingly proving Premium Times in effort to depend the General. May God save Nigeria!

  • lekan

    God save Nigeria that is all i can say

  • mimi

    Please leave the guy alone. He might have had opportunities to invest while in office. Besides, i am sure he is a pauper compared to aliyu gusau.

    • UK Commentator

      Rather than leaving him alone. Let’s get all of them, Gusau, Azazi, and the rest of the corrupt officials. One who stole a Naira and the one that stole a Billion should all be punished accordingly, so that we can have a corrupt free Nigeria in the future.

  • blamaco11

    just leave it. Azazi, dont mind the poverty ridden critics, well done indeed.

  • Ejiro

    Leave Azazi alone. Why not show us the houses of IBB,OBJ,Gambari, Adenuga,Oandoaka, Farouk Lawan etc. If Azazi buys houses, its ok bcos he is from the SS. If other Nigerians who are not fron the SS can spend the money why nt a SS son? My dear Oliver Twists regions in Nigeria, go get ur won oil.

  • Ejiro

    Tell us the owners of all other houses around Azazi. Why pick him out?

  • Dada-Ogbegun

    Should it not matter us that iniquity is iniquity, whether from North, South, East or West?

  • Umar Farouk Liman

    Prenium Time, you are not sincire to Nigerias, just becouse hi’s not in gov’t, where is Dizani? Where is Jonathon and Niger Delta looters? Expose them to us, and your investigtion not sound with clear evidence.