Lawal Daura was fired yesterday as Director-General of the Department of State Services (DSS) for embarrasing the government, a source has revealed.
The source, who pleaded not to be named because of the “sensitivity” of the matter, listed 11 reasons why Daura got the push.
- For denting President Buhari’s image;
- For overruling Buhari, VP Osinbajo on crucial matters, such as the $43.45million recovered at Osborne Towers in Ikoyi, Lagos;
- confirmation of the Acting EFCC chairman, Ibrahim Magu and others;
- alleged disrespect of court orders on ex-NSA Sambo Dasuki and Islamic cleric Ibrahim el-Zakzaky and detention of Jones Abiri; and
- using security reasons to determine who to see (or pray) with Buhari.
Others include unauthorised deployment of operatives/ sting operations against Supreme Court justices, National Assembly, ex-DG DSS Kayode Are, others; alleged interference in the affairs of other security agencies, especially the EFCC on some sensitive cases, including those involving some ex-Service Chiefs, Nigeria Intelligence Agency (NIA), DSS; alleged refusal to take orders from and irreconcilable differences with the National Security Adviser, Gen. Mohammed Babagana Monguno; controversy over negotiation of freedom for Chibok and Dapchi girls; intelligence report on alleged romance with Saraki and some principal officers of National Assembly; alleged hostility to the media and alleged usurpation/ duplication of the functions of anti-corruption agencies.
The source said: “The DG, DSS had his cup full in the past few weeks when the President detested some of his actions based on intelligence report.
“In fact, the President had agreed on a two-week deadline to remove him. The invasion of the National Assembly by DSS operatives hastened Daura’s exit.
“The President got an instant briefing from Acting President Yemi Osinbajo. Buhari also had the privilege to watch the siege on television.,” the source said, adding:
“Buhari felt insulted that Daura drafted DSS operatives to the National Assembly without any covert or overt instructions. He, therefore, directed Osinbajo to fire the DG.”
The source gave the details of how Daura ran the DSS to the embarrassment of the Presidency.
He said: “What embarrassed the Presidency most was the affront by the sacked DG in overruling the President on some issues. When AVM JON Ode Committee was set up by the President to probe the $2.1b arms deals, he faulted the composition of the panel, which had no representative from the DSS. He never forgave all those who made input into the composition of the panel.
“The impunity with which he overruled Buhari on the eligibility of Ibrahim Magu as a nominee for the chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC) with ambiguous security reports shocked the government. The Senate relied on DSS reports to reject Magu twice. There was obvious poor cohesion in this administration.
“When the President appointed VP Osinbajo to head a panel to probe the $43.45million recovered at Osborne Towers in Ikoyi, Lagos, Daura disagreed with some recommendations in the committee’s report and raised a curious memo citing why security funds cannot be probed. At a point, Buhari alluded publicly to Daura’s representation.”
Responding to a question, the source added that “the saddest moment for Buhari and his deputy was the unauthorised sting operations on the homes of Supreme Court justices by DSS operatives. A perplexed Buhari could not justify the arrest of the justices when a former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Mahmud Mohammed met with him on the incident.
“There was no intelligence report made available to the President or VP Osinbajo; no pre-operation briefing, and when he was confronted, Daura reminded Buhari that there was a presidential verbal directive that he should do anything to fight corruption.
“Although it was convenient to overrule Daura but the President allowed the judges to go through the judicial process instead of using fiat to reverse the DSS.
“The same impunity applies to the disobedience of court orders on ex-NSA Sambo Dasuki and Ibrahim el-Zakzaky and detention of a journalist, Jones Abiri. Daura cited security reasons for his action.
“After his long medical trip to London, the President once asked Daura if Dasuki was still in detention. He justified Dasuki’s detention by claiming that the ex-NSA was only freed on one of the matters in court. He said he had more legal hurdles to cross.
“When there was too much noise on El-Zakyzaky’s prolonged detention without trial, the DSS quickly arranged a parade of the old man to prove that he was doing well.
“The raid of a former DG of DSS, Col. Kayode Are, in an inhuman manner was said to have smacked of vengeance because Daura was in service when Are led the agency.
“The 2018 International Press Institute(IPI) World Congress in June was expected to fetch some mileage for President Muhammadu Buhari but the President was shocked when IPI Executive Board Chair John Yearwood demanded the release of a detained journalist, Jones Abiri in Nigeria by the DSS since July 2016.
“Some ministers denied that any journalist was detained until the picture became clearer that Abiri was in DSS gulag.”
The source attributed the removal of Daura to lack of synergy among security agencies, especially between the National Security Adviser
“He does not have respect for the National Security Adviser, Gen. Mohammed Babagana Monguno and he refused to report, to him while in office. This caused a huge gap in inter-security agencies’ coordination.
His irreconcilable differences with Monguno got to a stage that a former Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency, Amb. Ayo Oke, had to intervene on why they should forgive each other to ensure a seamless security coordination. The two security chiefs agreed to work together but the truce collapsed, The Nation learnt.
Daura’s outstanding moments were in securing freedom for Chibok and Dapchi girls, but there were issues on the negotiation, with insurgents.
“When a journalist with Daily Independent, Tony Ezimakor, reported the issues on the international dimension to the negotiation, the DSS wasted no time in detaining him.
“In the past two weeks, some organizations had been advertising in some dailies to ask the Presidency to revisit the negotiations.”
The source also alleged that Daura had allegedly tried to interfere with the investigation of some high-profile suspects, scuh a former Chief of Army Staff, by the EFCC.
He was also accused of pettiness on security issues.
“The crux of the matter between the DSS and EFCC bordered on moves by the former to cause a stay of action on some cases. At a point, the DG became uncomfortable that Magu was not taking instructions from him. The battle line was drawn between Daura and Magu when the EFCC started probing the tenure of a former DG of DSS, Mr. Ita Ekpenyong, and discovered that Ekpenyong left huge funds in the accounts of the agency, contrary to the allegation that he diverted same. Daura felt Magu was after him because he was introduced to the President by the NSA.
“Even when peace was initiated, he told Magu that his rank was not worth more than an Assistant Superintendent of Police in DSS cadre. Also, he reminded Magu that he wrote the position paper which led to the establishment of EFCC and he coordinated the take-off of the anti-graft commission.
“It was the same venom with which he opposed the clearance of Magu by the Senate. As if he was not done with the Acting EFCC chairman, an operative stopped him a few weeks ago from joining the President at the mosque at the Presidential Villa based on orders from the DSS headquarters.
“The same ill-treatment was meted out to Sen. Ali Ndume when he was prevented from praying at the mosque by DSS.
“As we speak, the accreditation of a journalist with The Punch, Olalekan Adetayo, has not been restored because of security reasons cited by DSS DG in spite of intervention by some media aides.
“At intelligence meetings with top editors, Daura assumed unusual airs. He once told editors that if he wanted to cause a crisis in Nigeria, he can do it within five minutes.
The source explained that in the last few months, the Presidency had been uncomfortable with Daura when it discovered that he had been very close to a principal officer of the National Assembly.
“President Buhari initially ignored the alleged romance between Daura and the principal officer until it became evident that the officer and his loyalists have more intelligence about government than meet the eye.”
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