Heavily Armed Security Operatives Invade Official Residence Of Former NIA DG
The official residence of immediate past acting Director General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ambassador Dauda Muhammed, has been invaded Monday evening by heavily armed security operatives.
The combatants agents welding high caliber weapons, numbering about 20 were cited at the residence located in highbrow Maitama District of Abuja last night when our reporter visited the area.
The residence located at No 3 Osara Lane, off Osara Close, Maitama, was cordoned by the armed agents, with about dozen of them keeping a vigil outside the perimeter of the property.
Independent sources told this newspaper that gestapo-like raid may not be unconnected to the NIA’s new leadership desperation to evict the Ambassador Muhammed from the property.
Ambassador Muhammed was on a duty tour in in Chad before his redeployment back to Abuja to head the agency after the sack of Ayo Oke.
The elite spy agency was mired in leadership crisis after the current DG Dr. Rufa’i Abubakar, a senior special assistant to the president, was appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari.Controversy rocks Rufai’s appointment as NIA boss
This newspaper had earlier exclusively reported the raging controversy trailing the appointment of Dr Abubakar as the substantive head of the agency.
The controversy was over what Presidency insiders and members of the intelligence community consider “as breach of national security” over the personality of the new NIA chief.
Another issue is what insiders called the Presidency’s “promotion of mediocrity, nepotism and incompetence” in the intelligence community.
Multiple sources who spoke to this newspaper said the new NIA chief “may compromise the security of this country because of his background.”
“Rufai was born in Chad Republic. He had his primary and secondary education all in Chad. He had a dual citizenship. Not only that he’s married to a Moroccan. Where is he loyalty lies now as head of Nigerian apex intelligence body? Will he be loyal to Nigeria, Chad or Morocco? That is our concern,” one of the intelligence chief said.
Another security chief said apart from Rufa’is dual citizenship, his competence is equally is a source of concern.
“Rufa’i retired from the NIA in 2013 to avoid being dismissed. As an assistant director in the NIA, he sat for two promotion examinations and failed. He craftily retired after failing the second exams to avoid being dismissed. This was because failure for the third time would have earned him instant termination,” the security source conversant with Rufa’i stint in the agency said.
Investigations revealed that the new NIA chief is used to violating the extant civil service rule. Rufa’i was a level 12 Officer in Katsina State Civil Service when he was transferred to the NIA and placed on Level 14 by Talban Katsina Ambassador Zakari Ibrahim.
After leaving the agency, he somewhat became an informal personal assistant to Ambassador Babagana Kingibe, who took him to Darfur and later secured an appointment for him as Senior Special Assistant to the President on foreign affairs, another source said.
Explaining the web of intrigues surrounding his appointment, another presidency source. fingered Kingibe and Zakari on the latest twist.
“Interestingly it was Kingibe, Talban Katsina and Horsfall (all former NIA chiefs) who were appointed to investigate the recovery of the $43million dollars found at Ikoyi apartment.
“The duo must have recommended his name, I suppose. It was Kingibe through Kyari that got him the post of SSA on Foreign Affairs. This was done to cover up the actual involvement of some Presidency power brokers in the Ikoyi cash haul, the source said.
The new NIA chief is from Buhari’s gone state of Katsina just like his counterpart in the Department of State Services (DSS), Lawal Daura.
The House of Representatives committee on national intelligence and public safety has begun probe of the agency over the N15 billion recovered last year by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) at Osborne Street, Ikoyi, Lagos.
They are also investigating the controversy surrounding the new DG’s nationality, citizenship, and competence which came to question through a petition by some senior directors in the agency.
The House committee is probing is the alleged carting away of $44 million from the NIA shortly after the appointment of the new DG.