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?
CISLAC Demands Independent Probe into $5 Million Bribery Allegation
The Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), the National Contact for Transparency International (TI), has expressed concern over the committee set up by the Kano State House of Assembly to investigate the recent $5million bribery allegation attributed to the State Governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, as displayed in a widely shared video clip. This was contained in a statement signed by the Executive Director, CISLAC Auwal Ibrahim Musa (Rafsanjani)
While CISLAC commended the effort and ability of the Kano State House of Assembly at setting up an ad hoc committee to investigate the alleged bribery, Rafasanjani said “we are worried that the outcome of such investigation would not command public trust and credibility respect except if handled by independent and competent ICT professionals with track record of integrity.
“We are confident an independent inquiry outside the instrumentality of Kano State governance structure will to a large extent assure Nigerians of fearless fact-findings on the true nature of the video clip in fulfilment of the Federal Government’s readiness to combat corruption within and outside the ruling party.We must, therefore, reiterate that anything short of an independent investigation would seem stage-managed before the public” Rafasanjani said.
Rafsanjani said that we are also not unaware of the infringement of human rights, intimidation and harassment of the whistle-blowers and citizens who stepped out to peacefully protest this allegation against the Governor. We find this disheartening and reiterates our persistent demand for the adoption of a Whistle-blower Protection Law Citizens’ right to freedom of association and expression should in no way be muzzled in this issue.
And called on the President and the Inspector General of Police to guarantee the rights of the people for a peaceful protest and ensure lives are secured.
We call for the Governor to immediately step aside to allow high level transparency, accountability and rule of law in the process of the investigation and prevent possible influence of the “fact-findings”. This will guarantee fairness and discourage undue interference in the investigation.
Rafsanjani also call on the National Assembly and anti-corruption agencies to live up to the expectations and trust placed in them by Nigerians in ensuring perpetrators of corrupt practice are brought to book, while guaranteeing adequate protection for whistle-blowing effort through enabling policies implementation and transition into legislation.
“We also call on the Ruling Party to stay silent on the issue if the party is really going to be believed that it is fighting corruption” he said.
Rafsanjani assured that CISLAC remains committed to monitoring the government at all levels to ensure that she fulfils her promises to the citizens of our great country.
Fayose must not die in your custody, Frank warns EFCC
…Accuses Buhari of persecution
The immediate past Deputy National Publicity Secretary of All Progressives Congress (APC) Comrade Timi Frank, has strongly condemned the continued detention of immediate past Governor of Ekiti state, Ayodele Fayose, by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), warning that no harm must happen to the former governor.
Frank said the alarm is necessary because of the information available to him that the agency has been instructed ‘by the powers that be’ to either poison or render the outspoken politician (Fayose) incapacitated ahead of the 2019 general elections.
In a statement released on Wednesday in Abuja, Frank wondered why somebody who voluntary released himself to the agency should be kept in custody more than 24 hours.
The former APC spokesman said that in as much as he will never support corruption, justice must be done to all and sundry.
Frank revealed that Fayose is being held by the EFCC not because of any currupt act but because of his outspokenness against the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari and the APC.
He wondered “why former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Engr. Babachir Lawal was not detain over allegation of grasscutting scandal, why EFCC refuse to invite the wife of the President Aisha Buhari over recent allegation involving his ADC, why MTN scandal involving Chief of Staff to the President is not investigated, why NNPC scandal involving the GMD Kanti Baru and why allegation of corruption against the National Chairman of APC, Adams Oshiomohle does not interest the agency, among so many others in the ruling party.
“The truth is that once you are not a member of APC, you are corrupt but once you join the evil party, your sins are forgiven,” he state.
On the plan to render Fayose incapacitated, Frank said: “A Senior staff of the agency last night had to call attention of some opposition leaders to the instruction given to the agency by the presidency to ensure that Fayose does not leave EFCC custody a healthy person.
“Another operative early this morning also informed us that a healthy Fayose who walked into headquarters of EFCC yesterday was seen vomiting this morning. I called on Nigerians to pray for Fayose because the evil plan of APC government against the PDP leader is not known yet.”
Frank, who urge the former governor not to eat or drink anything coming from the operative of EFCC, also called the attention of the international community to what he described as a selective manner in which President Buhari is fighting corruption in Nigeria.
Mining Union faults FG on planned sale of ASCO, wants CBN Gov sacked
The umbrella body responsible for the affairs of mines workers in Nigeria, the Nigerian Union of Mines Workers (NUMW) has called for the resignation or outright sack of the Governor of the Central Bank (CBN) of Nigeria, Mr Godwin Emefiele over what it described as the inability of the apex financial institution to articulate policy measure that will lead to the rejuvenation of the moribund Federal-Government owned Ajaokuta Steel Company (ASCO), adding that government’s disposition to selling ASCO, a decision supported by the CBN, reflects the intellectual poverty of the country’s apex financial institution.
It could be recall that while briefing the Nigerian delegation at the end of the International Monetary Fund/World Bank Group meetings in Bali, Indonesia, recently, Emefiele said Ajaokuta Steel Company and other national assets will be sold to service the 2018 deficit budget.
While describing ASCO as the bedrock of Nigeria’s industrialization which must be nurtured and prioritized as an emblem of National Pride, the National President of the Mining Union, Comr. Hamza Mohammed called on government to ensure that ASCO remains under domestic ownership and control, adding that countries which developed their indigenous steel sectors have become better for it.
He tasked Emefiele and the Minister of Finance to articulate a policy direction for the funds needed to resuscitate ASCO, he called on the Senate to intervene by ensuring that the nations institutions in the finance sector work toward articulating a poly measure to address the problem.
“The Nigerian Union of Miens Workers entirely kicks against any form of sale or transfer of ownership of ASCO to foreign bodies or organizations as it is not the best for the development of Nigeria’s industrial sector,” he said.
Hamza who commended the Nigeria Metallurgical Society (NMS) and other professional bodies in the sector for condemning the idea of selling ASCO, called on the federal government to urgent articulate policy measures for the utilization of ASCO in the industrialization of Nigeria, adding that unless Nigeria develops her industrial sectors, it will not be able to play big in the committee of nations.
Hamza noted that it is not a good policy proposal to say that ASCO should be sold for the purpose of financing the 2018 budget, adding that only a mindless government will sell such a highly strategic institution to finance a year’s budget.
While stating that “the industrialization of ASCO, National Iron Ore mining Company (NIOMCO), Delta Steel Company (DSC) and the development of Nigeria’s iron and steel sector have never been negotiable and is still not negotiable, and will never be negotiable,” Hamza warned that the National Executive Council of the Mining Union will soon convene to deliberate on the necessity of embarking on a nationwide strike action if government does not heed the clarion call to shelve plans of selling the steel complex.
Hamza said: “It is socially, industrially and economically injurious to Nigeria to transfer in any way the ownership and control of ASCO to any individual or corporate entity,” adding that the federal government must ensure that it retains one hundred percent ownership and control of the systems.
Hamza who explained that Nigeria’s current economic challenges are the result of the failure of various governments to utilize the country’s human and natural resources, adding that government must act beyond the rhetoric of saying that ASCO can create huge number of jobs. “We know that ASCO can create huge number of jobs and we know that government also knows that, what we want government to do is to resuscitate ASCO so that it will deliver the beautiful promises of the sector to Nigerians.”
“No country can join the rank of super powers unless it develops its steel sector. I expect that government knows that the development of a country’s steel sector is will ignite the development of all industrial sectors of the country’s economy,” he said, and explained that it is only when ASCO begins the production of liquid steel that Nigeria can become a manufacturer of steel products like motor vehicles, airplanes and various steel instruments that symbolize national power and glory.
Discussing the strategic nature of ASCO to the industrial development of Nigeria and the African continent, Hamza said: “The Mining union laments that government handles with levity the importance of ASCO,” saying that ASCO is reputed as the largest steel plant in Africa.
Discussing other advantages of resuscitating ASCO, Hamza noted that apart from being able to generate more than five hundred thousand direct and indirect jobs, ASCO has the ability to become a major revenue earner for the government while also improving the Nigerian economy, if resuscitated.
Recalling one of the campaign promises that thrilled the union during the electioneering campaign of General Muhammadu Buhari, Hamza said Gen Buhari has assured that the steel sector will be developed as a major revenue earner for the country. He therefore tasked the federal government to live up to expectation of Nigerians in the steel sector saying that if ASCO is sold, it will augur well for the industrial development of Nigeria.
While calling on government to stop the exportation of unprocessed solid minerals, Hamza stressed the need to ensure value addition to solid minerals before they are exported to other countries, adding that a lot of jobs will be created for Nigerians if government effectively outlaws the export of processed solid minerals.
While he lamented that Nigeria suffers huge revenue losses when businessmen foreigners mine and export undeveloped solid minerals, he said government must exercise the strong will requisite for the resuscitation of ASCO, stating that if ASCO was resuscitated, steel raw materials will be mines and used to feed the production needs of the integrated steel complex.
“It is only when Ajaokuta Steel Company is resuscitated, the iron ore is mined in Itakpe would be easy moved to ASCO for onward use in the production of steel,” he said.
While he specifically noted that the potentials of the Nigerian steel industry have dastardly abused by foreign nationals, notably Indians, who were entrusted with the task of managing it, he tasked the Buhari administration to activate its institutions to develop a framework for the urgent activation of Ajaokuta Steel Company, Delta Steel Company and the National iron Ore Mining Company (NIOMCO), Itakpe, stating that apart from these, government should stair up the interest of the organized private sector to participate in the development of the country’s steel sector.
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