As the 2019 elections draws closer Nigerians have been witnessing all manner of melodrama ranging from massive decamping from the ruling political party to opposition and the invasion of the National Assembly by men of the Department of State Security DSS. While the diminutive Chairman of the All Progressives Congress APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole has been breathing hot air over the situation in his party, former Director General of the DSS, Lawal Daura has become a victim of his own excesses. Nigerians were taken aback by the unexpected sacking of one of the most powerful men in the country and have tried to fathom reasons for the sudden removal. PowerSteering went to town to unravel the mystery behind the woe that befell the DG of the DSS.
The name Lawal Daura spells different things to different people. In certain quarters he is seen as a benefactor, however in others the man is held in contempt over his antecedents. Recently, the over ambitious Daura invaded the National Assembly and shut down the premises. Some Nigerians thought that he was acting out the script of the present administration however some informed sources have revealed that he was actually the enemy within the camp.
Shedding light on the issue, a retired senior DSS official Abdulwahab Abdulrahman who could rightly be described as Daura’s “right hand man” said beside corruption, Daura repeatedly betrayed President Buhari. In his words, “I noticed immediately we started work that for Lawal Daura it is simply about money. He recalled that in the course of their work and as part of the transition team after Buhari won elections, Daura kept producing fake reports about Ita Ekpenyong (his predecessor) and that he developed the habit of going to Buhari’s influential cousin, Mamman Daura, to report Ekpenyong and gave details of what election committee was doing. That way he said, Lawal Daura warmed his way into Mamman Daura’s heart.
According to him, Daura was never a favorite of President Buhari because of his “antecedents”, suggesting he was somehow imposed on him by Mamman Daura and others close to him. He further stated that after Daura was appointed he was receiving money from everyone including the President’s enemies saying when they resumed work they always close late often by 2 a.m., “what we were doing mostly was: receiving Ghana must go filled with cash brought by enemies of government to him”. He said he would go and get information on plans for the Senate President and leak it to him.
It will be recalled that in the heated days of the National Assembly’s standoff with the executive over the appointment of Ibrahim Magu as head of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC, it was mostly memos from DSS that the lawmakers referenced as basis of rejecting Magu.
On Daura’s career history, he said the man was from DSS originally, before his reappointment by President Buhari, because he was caught siphoning fuel diesel from the DSS Academy in Kaduna. Before then he was almost sacked when he was state Director in Lagos. Bola Tinubu, who was governor, donated 20 vehicles to aid work of the service in the state; Fashola, who is now minister, was the Chief of staff, Daura took all the vehicles to Kano and sold them off. Daura also had to be secretly removed in EDO state because of how he was misusing staff stipends.
According to Abdulrahman, Daura had no respect for the National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno, whom he should be reporting to. He also said he never had any respect for the Vice-President, Yemi Osinbanjo.
PowerSteering News Magazine reliably learnt that Osinbajo was outraged when he learnt of the DSS siege on the National Assembly and asked for a comprehensive briefing of what exactly was going on. He then summoned heads of Security Agencies to a meeting with him. The National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno, the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris and Daura were there. According to an insider, “When Lawal Daura came in; the acting President asked him who cleared him to order operatives to lay siege on the National Assembly, and his response was ‘shocking’.
Daura not only refused to answer Osinbajo’s question directly, he was disdainful and disrespectful of the nation’s number two citizen and acting president.
“He simply said it’s within his powers and that he is only answerable to the president and Commander-In-Chief who appointed him,” PowerSteering quotes a source as saying.
It was also alleged that the pressure from the International Community on the president while in London on medical vacation made President Buhari to approve the sacking of Lawal Daura. Many are sure that Buhari wouldn’t have been able to sack Daura if he were on seat and face to face at the time this incident took place.
Apart from his murky career history, Daura had at different times embarrassed the Federal Government with his actions. On the third of September 2015, Daura had used officers of the DSS to invade Akwa Ibom state Government House. DSS operatives numbering 48 ransacked the Government House without search warrant. A year after his operatives raided the residence of some judges in Abuja and Port Harcourt at night. Daura was reported to have claimed that the crackdown was aimed at instilling discipline and sanity in the judiciary. In March 2016 he ordered the invasion of Ekiti State House of Assembly by DSS operatives. He is alleged to have used his office to curry financial favours from many enemies of the country in order to protect them from being prosecuted by EFCC and ICPC.
He was reported to have influenced Abubakar Malami, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation to meet with Abdulrasheed Maina, a man who had earlier been declared wanted by the police over pension fund scam. Daura’s alleged arranged meeting with Malami led to the latter’s secret return to the civil service.
Daura was also accused of disrespect for court orders on ex-National Security Adviser Sambo Dasuki and the Islamic cleric Ibrahim el-Zakzaky. He was also reported to be fond of using security reasons to determine who to see or not to see or pray with President Buhari. He said to be so power drunk to the extent of even overruling President Buhari and Vice-President Osinbajo, on some issues.
A typical example was the $43.45 million recovered from Osborne Towers in Ikoyi, Lagos. When the President appointed Osinbajo to head the probe panel, Daura was said to have openly disagreed with some recommendations in the committee’s report and later raised a memo citing why security funds cannot be probed.
The sacked DSS DG was quite unpopular with staff of the organization as he had stopped payment of Duty tour allowance and other allowances on the ground that he needed to amass sufficient funds for Buhari’s presidential campaign. He similarly allegedly denied directors at the national headquarters of the organization accommodation by converting the houses to personal use. For example he evicted Kayode Are, his predecessor from his No. 50 Alexander Street Ikoyi residence, he allegedly allocated same property to a woman believed to be his mistress.
Daura did not spare the media as Tony Ezimakor, Abuja Bureau Chief of Daily Independent who wrote and investigative feature story on the release of the abducted Dapchi in Yobe state was arrested on the orders of the DSS DG for revealing details the organization found uncomfortable. The accreditation of the Punch Aso Rock correspondent, Olalekan Adetayo, was withdrawn because of security reasons cited by Daura. He was once reported to have boasted to media men that if he wants to cause crisis in Nigeria, he could do so within five minutes.
There is a popular saying that; “It does not take long before the day breaks”, the day broke for Lawal Daura on Tuesday, August 7, when he was sacked on the orders of Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, for superintending the unauthorized cordoning off of the National Assembly operatives of the DSS. The development did not go down well with the Acting President who was said to have gotten approval of President Buhari to sack Daura.
There are indications that he might have to explain how he managed N17 billion said to have been allocated to the security organization in the last days of President Goodluck Jonathan and also the payment of ransom to Book Haram insurgents for the release of the Dapchi girls in Yobe state.
The Inside Story
After being dismissed following his summon to the Presidency, he was arrested by the police and detained at a Force Headquarters facility in Garki Area 11 known as FSARS. There, he suddenly took ill as a result of the trauma he suffered following his ignominious fall from power. His blood pressure was said to have shot up. As a result, they promptly sent for his drugs from his office at DSS headquarters and his home. Sources say he is hypertensive and undergoing some treatments.
PowerSteering investigation shows that his initial statement to the high ranking, senior police officers assigned to interrogate him, shortly after his detention, is that he acted based on instruction from some principal officers in the Presidency. They included a retired Army General who is a Minister and a principal aide to the president. This aspect was however missing in the interim report summited to VP Osinbajo by the police.
But following his release by the police on Thursday, he was taken into what has been described in security circles as “protective custody” by the DSS. Investigation shows that his movement to a DSS detention apartment at Gwarimpa area of Abuja was done in order to enable his family who lives in Gwarimpa, not too far from the facility, to have access to him at any chosen time. But that has not stopped Nigerians from calling for his head.
“Without a doubt, the summary dismissal, last month, of Alhaji Lawal Daura, Director-General, Department, State Security, came as a big surprise to many people. It seemed to contradict the world order!,” Col. Abubakar Dangiwa Umar (Rtd), observed in a press statement sometimes in August , 2018.
“In the last three years, Lawal Daura had marched from one audacious act of impunity to another; had rudely defied the President, had routinely ignored court orders and seemed all but successful in carving out, for himself, a government within a government in Nigeria. There was hardly any observer of the turbulent Nigerian political scene over the last several years who still believed that Lawal Daura was subject to any laws not to speak of official code of behaviour.
“Given all the distress created by the actions of Lawal Daura and those caused through his refusal to act, the decision to sack him did not come a moment too soon. And yet, in the interest of our democracy, in order to guard against unexpected threats and conspiracies, the action taken by the acting President must not stop halfway, especially now that Mr. President himself is back from his medical vacation. The government should seek to discover the motives as well as the explanation for some of those crazy maneuvers, many of which simply beg for answers.
The questions should include the following:
1) Where and in what condition are all the assets handed over to Lawal Daura by the immediate past D-G, SS, Mr. Ita Ekpeyong?
2) What are the reasons why Lawal Daura deployed SS operatives and prevented EFCC personnel from searching the residences of former D-G, SS, Mr Ekpeyong and former D-G, NIA, Mr Oke?
3) What is the explanation for the raid on the farm belonging to Ibrahim Magu, Chairman, EFCC, which led to loss of live?
4) Was it not true that Lawal Daura moved to seize and appropriate over forty three million US dollar NIA funds if he was not prevented from doing so by the National Security Adviser?
Why did Lawal Daura continuously and in blatant defiance of the President send false reports to the Nigerian Senate that frustrated the confirmation of Ibrahim Magu as substantive Chairman of the EFCC?
Harassment of opposition members: Frank urges US, UK, EU, UN, others to call President Buhari to order
Former Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Timi Frank, has appealed to the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, United Nations, and other members of the international community to urgently call President Muhammadu Buhari to order over his incessant intimidation and harassment of opposition figures in the country ahead of the 2019 general elections.
Frank specifically condemned in strong terms the plot to arrest the Managing Director of Fidelity Bank, Nnamdi Okonkwo, over frivolous charges simply because of the Vice Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Peter Obi, was a former chairman of the bank.
He also said apart from the indiscriminate arrest and freezing of bank accounts of many opposition figures, some businessmen suspected to be supporting the presidential candidate of the PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, are also being harassed by agencies of government on the orders of the presidency.
In a statement in Abuja on Thursday, Frank called on the international power blocs to come to the aid of Nigeria to prevent a revolt against the government by citizens who are now being pushed to the wall.
According to Frank, from all indications the current government is not ready for the general elections in 2019 as evident on its refusal to assent to the Electoral Act amendment bill meant to correct past lapses and ensure free, fair, credible and transparent elections.
He added that since electoral body lifted embargo on open rally, the APC and its presidential candidate have failed to organize political rallies to sell their programmes, hence their resort to intimidate and frustrate opposition members.
The former APC spokesman, who condemned the arrest of Doyin Okupe, the search of Atiku’s son’s residence in Abuja, unlawful freezing of the accounts of some PDP members, arrest of activists and Journalists among others, stated that such anti-people actions were reminiscent of past military dictatorship in the country.
He urged the international community to save Nigeria’s democracy, and said: “The APC’s government should not be allowed to create another monster. If nothing is done to halt this ongoing harassment, it will get to a state where people will begin to defend themselves and by that time the current Boko Haram insurgency will be child’s play.
“In a democracy, how can a President treat his country men and women as less than human? The APC’s government is using state apparatus like the Police and EFCC to intimidate innocent Nigerians, unlawfully. Nigerians are living in fear. Freedom of Speech has been put on hold under President Buhari’s government. Critics of the administration are increasingly being hurled into jail.
“Despite signing the Peace Accord, we believe that President Buhari will not abide by its tenets based on his antecedents. Unless the friends of Nigeria come to its aid, unless this government is put to check, it is not only the 2019 election that is endangered. The continued existence of the country is also in jeopardy.
“So, I urge the international community and all the lovers of democracy all over the world to prevail on President Muhammadu Buhari to stop all forms of intimidation and harassment of Nigerian citizens over spurious allegations,” Frank stated.
Bauchi monthly IGR now N1 billion – Official
The Chairman of the Bauchi Board of Internal Revenue Mr Aliyu Jibo, on Wednesday said that the state’s N1 billion monthly internally-generated revenue was too low to enhance development of the state.
Jibo, also the new Chairman of the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN), Bauchi State Chapter, expressed the dissatisfaction at the inauguration of new executives of the CITN in Bauchi.
According to him, the state government budgets about N167 billion annually but generates N1 billion monthly.
“This is a serious problem,” he said.
He urged CITN members to remain professionals to improve tax collection in the state which, he said, was faced with dwindling federal allocations because of the nation’s economic challenges.
“The challenges need swift and concrete measures to cushion the effects and enable Bauchi State Government to meet its financial obligations and provide basic amenities and interventions.
“The state government has introduced tax reforms and measures to help in augmenting the revenue flow,” he said.
Jibo also urged CITN members to be committed to improving thier profession and the citizens.
2019 Elections: APC Statement on PDP, Atiku’s Failed Attempt to Evade National Peace Accord
The All Progressive Congress(APC) has slammed the People Democratic Party, (PDP) and her presidential candidate on their boycott to the peace accord. the ruling party said that ,it is obvious that the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alh. Atiku Abubakar tried to avoid signing the national peace accord ahead of the country’s 2019 General Elections.
In as statement signed by the National Publicity Secretary Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu noted that to all discerning Nigerians, the PDP and Atiku’s dubious claim of a “communication lapse” as reason for their no-show at Tuesday’s formal signing ceremony is hogwash, as the peace committee duly and formally invited the PDP and Atiku like other candidates and political parties contesting the 2019 Elections.
Lanre said Atiku’s eventual decision to sign the peace deal is clearly a face-saving move following widespread condemnation that greeted his initial refusal to agree to the peace deal. We, however, must not lose sight of the dangerous and ominous signs the PDP and Atiku have inadvertently shown Nigerians in the leadup to the elections.
“Again, this brings to the fore, PDP’s open declaration in August this year that the Party will deploy all “means, schemes, shenanigans in all ramification and magnitude” to manipulate the 2019 election” he added.
The APC reiterated that security and other relevant agencies must be on high alert to check this dangerous threat posed by the PDP’s planned actions for the general elections. In 2019 and beyond, the votes of the electorate must count and the will of the electorate must prevail. We must stand against and resist plans by retrogressive elements who are now nested in the PDP and their agents to disrupt elections through violence and other undemocratic practices.
” For signing the 2019 election national peace accord, the Party affirms the commitment of the President Muhammadu Buhari led APC government to a free and fair electoral process. The APC government has an abiding pledge towards a participatory, peaceful, credible and transparent elections” the spokeperson said.
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