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Buhari’s Men Plot Oust Of Acting DSS Boss, Southern Leaders Angry |RN

                                          DSS Acting DG, Mathew Seiyefa

•  Cabal shortlists three as Seiyefa’s replacement

Olusola Fabiyi and Adelani Adepegba, Abuja

Loyalists of President Muhammadu Buhari have begun moves to take control of the Department of State Services ahead of the 2019 general elections, The PUNCH learnt on Sunday.

It was gathered that the loyalists, who were working in tandem with a cabal in the Presidency, had already given the acting DG of the Service, Mr Mathew Seiyefa, a signal that he might not be in office during the conduct of the general elections next year by the Independent National Electoral Commission.

Seiyefa, who is due for retirement in July 2019, hails from Bayelsa State.

Buhari’s loyalists are believed not to be comfortable with him, having hailed from a state where the President is not very popular.

Besides, former President Goodluck Jonathan, who Buhari defeated in the bitterly contested 2015 presidential election,  hails from the same state.

“We cannot, therefore, trust such a man to head the security apparatus that is very vital for the conduct of the 2019 general elections, in which President Buhari will still be a candidate,” a source said.

One of our correspondents gathered that since the appointment of the acting DG, there had been serious gang-up against him by a cabal in the Presidential Villa.

It was learnt that members of the cabal had yet to get over the shocking removal of the erstwhile DG of the Service, Mr Lawal Daura, by Prof. Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) while acting as the President in Muhammadu Buhari’s absence.

Daura is from Katsina State,  the home state of President Buhari.

Osinbajo had asked Daura to hand over to the most senior officer in the agency when he (Daura) was sacked on August 7 for deploying operatives of the agency to block the National Assembly.

The sacking was said to have come to those close to Buhari as a shock.

Members of the cabal, which is allegedly headed by the Chief of Staff to the President, Mr. Abba Kyari, have remained unrelenting in their determination to have a say in who heads the agency.

The source added that Seiyefa had been asked by Kyari to also reverse all the appointments he made when he assumed office.

A security source said, “Since the appointment of the acting DG, there have been serious gang-up against him by the cabal in the Villa.

“The chief of staff has ordered the Acting DG to reverse all the appointments, warning him to stop further postings.

“The most unfortunate, ugly and unethical development that occurred was the instruction by the Chief of Staff to the President to the DG to bring the lists of all the postings and appointments he has done since his assumption of duty. It is causing serious rumbles in the office now.

“Some officers have been grumbling over interference by politicians in the workings of the agency.”

Those that the DG has been directed to bring back to the headquarters are the agency’s former Director of Operations, Mr Bassey Eteng.

Eteng was recently transferred to the Institute of Security Studies,  Bwari,  Abuja, where the incumbent DG once served as the director before he was appointed to take over from Daura.

Also, another Director, Grace Kentebe, who was transferred out of the headquarters of the agency, had been asked to be returned to the Yellow House, as the office of the DSS is popularly called.

It was also learnt that Kyari frowned on the posting of another officer from Kebbi State to serve as the Chief of Staff to Seiyefa.

It was also gathered that there were some aggrieved members of the agency, who were currently working at the Villa using their contacts within the corridors of power to help the cabal achieve its aim.

The officers are said to be using the Chief Security Officer to Buhari, Bashir Abubakar, to actualise their plans.

Those serving officers, four in number (names withheld) and who are involved in the game plan are said to be in the assistant directorate cadre.

A security source at the Presidency said, “There are some aggrieved elements in my office that are bent on removing him and bring in another person.”

Possibility of Daura’s return

It was learnt that the cabal was also working on the possibility of bringing back the sacked DG.

However, there were speculations that some members of the cabal felt that his return might bring bad blood between President Buhari and Osinbajo.

“How can we reinstate him when he was removed by the acting President, who took the action after reportedly seeking the approval of the President,?” a senior Presidency source said.

Besides, he said that recalling Daura might send the wrong signal to both local and international communities that there was a division in the Presidency.

“Elections are also coming. If we present a picture of a divided house to Nigerians and the international community, we know the opposition will cash in on it to make strong statements,” the source added.

Those shortlisted for replacement

In the event that the plan to restate Daura fails, one of our correspondents gathered that the cabal had perfected a plan to present some people for the position.

It was gathered that one of those on their list included Alhaji A. Kabir, who was once an acting Executive Secretary of the Petroleum Trust Development Fund.

Kabir is also a retired DSS Officer.

It was also gathered that the cabal had pencilled up the name of the Minister of Internal  Interior,  Lt. Gen. Abdulrahman  Dambazau  (retd.).

The former army chief played a vital role in the emergence of Buhari in 2015.

Dambazau was sacked by former President Goodluck Jonathan over the role he played in the deployment of troops and the smuggling of the then President,  Umaru Yar’dua from overseas before he eventually died.

It was also learnt that Bassey Eteng is also being considered, in case there were complaints against appointing another northerner for the sensitive position.

It was gathered that both Kyari and Abubakar were playing a vital role in the conspiracy to either bring back Daura or get a suitable replacement.

Authoritative sources said that four other officers were also working with both Kyari and Abubakar in the plot.

The officers (names withheld), are said not to be comfortable with the reforms initiated by Seiyefa since he assumed office.

Another said that the activities of the cabal in the last few days had made working in the service worrisome in the last few weeks.

He said that officers and operatives were worried that professionalism was being eroded in the service.

The source said, “There is serious tension in the service now. Personnel are unhappy that the Chief of Staff to the President is now trying to run the service by intimidating the acting DG, thereby rubbishing the VP, who sacked the former DG.

“What the COS and CO are trying to cover are many. They are holding brief for the sacked DG.”

Efforts made to get the reaction of the spokesperson for the agency, Mr Nnochirionye Afunanya, failed as calls made to his mobile telephone number indicated that it was switched off.

There was also no assurance that a text message sent to the same number delivered.

SMBLF rejects plot to remove DSS boss

But the Southern and Middle-Belt Leaders Forum has warned against a plot by some Presidency officials allegedly led by Kyari, to remove Seyeifa from office.

The forum said this on Sunday in a statement co-signed by its spokespersons, Yinka Odumakin (South-West), Senator Bassey Henshaw (South-South), Prof. Chigozie Ogbu (South-East) and Dr Isuwa Dogo (Middle Belt).

The group stated that it would have ignored the reported plan to remove Seyeifa “but for the clannishness, sectional proclivity and exclusive handling of the security architecture of the country by President Buhari in the last three years.”

The forum added, “He (Buhari) had defied all protestations from all well-meaning  Nigerians in making appointments into all key and sensitive security positions in sectional and kith-and-kin affairs in a very insensitive and ‘you-can-do-your-worse-manner’ that until the recent sacking of Lawal Daura, 16 out of 17 service chiefs were from his corner of the country.”

The SMBLF noted that the President had not commented on the sack of the former DG of DSS since he returned from his London vacation, stressing that this confirmed the speculation that he was not happy with Daura’s removal.

The group asked the President to prevail on Kyari and stop him from removing Seyeifa, warning that there would be consequences if the South-West and South-South regions were marginalised in the DSS leadership hierarchy.

“The rest of the country has lived with the insensitivity of Mr President in handling the security architecture in the last three years with equanimity.

“It may be necessary not to overstretch it by removing the acting DG and stopping the professional reorganisation in the DSS because it is not in tandem with the ethnic domination script of Mr President. It may turn out the proverbial last straw,” SMBLF warned.  (Punch)

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Saraki Should Step Down For Sake Of Morality – Sagay |The Republican News

Eniola Akinkuotu, Abuja

The Chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, Prof Itse Sagay (SAN), has called on Senate President Bukola Saraki to vacate his seat for the sake of morality.

Sagay said this on Thursday during a telephone interview with our correspondent.

The senior advocate said having a member of the minority party as the President of the Senate was an aberration anywhere in the world.

He, therefore, asked Saraki to give up the seat and then re-contest the position next year if he wins on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party.

The PACAC chairman said, “Saraki’s refusal to step down is a moral issue. The constitution does not specify that the Senate President must be a member of the majority party. All it states is that the majority of those sitting at the Senate will elect a Senate President.

“But by convention, there is no party that is in the majority that will allow a member of the minority party to lead. Now that he has crossed over to the PDP, he is morally bound to step aside and then re-contest as a PDP candidate.

“I am advising him to step down. Morally, he has no right to be there and if he is a man of honour and integrity, who has self-respect, he should not remain in office.”

Sagay also hailed the EFCC for probing the past leadership of the DSS.

He also dismissed insinuations that the acting Chairman of the EFCC, Mr Ibrahaim Magu, was not in the best position to probe the DSS having been rejected by the Senate based on a recommendation by the DSS.  (Punch)

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Former DSS DG, Lawal Daura Released From Custody, Passport Confiscated |RN

Lawal-Daura

Ex-DSS boss,  Lawal Daura released from custody

Intelligence authorities have released Lawal Daura and confiscated his international passport, acceding to a report.

The top spy chief was disgraced out of office and taken into custody on Tuesday after ordering the deployment of SSS operatives to lay siege to the National Assembly.

Mr Daura was released on Wednesday evening from a guest house run by the Department of State Services in Gwarimpa area of Abuja where he had been placed on house arrest since Acting-President Yemi Osinbajo ordered his dismissal on Tuesday. The presidency said the deployment of the SSS officials to the National Assembly was unauthorised.

The presence of masked SSS agents who prevented federal lawmakers and staff members from entering the parliament drew nationwide outrage on Friday morning. By afternoon, Mr Osinbajo, apparently incensed by the images of the ensued fracas being beamed across the world, ordered Mr Daura’s instant dismissal from service.

He was also asked to be remanded in custody, following allegations he might have committed some of the gravest heist and betrayal in Nigeria’s national security history.

He was initially reportedly taken to the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad facility in Guzape neighbourhood, Abuja, where he spent time answering questions for his highly controversial tenure at the secret police.

Later on, he was moved to one of the numerous guest’s houses run by SSS around the Federal Capital Territory. Specifically, he was detained at a building in Gwarinpa, a massive residential community filling the northwestern corridor of the capital, security sources informed of the matter said.

“He was given his phones and released to go,” a source said. “But his international passport was taken from him.”

It was not immediately clear where Mr Daura is currently putting up, but security sources said he would not be able to go under the radar given the intensity of surveillance already placed on him.

His two known telephone lines were still switched as at the moment this story was ready for publication. The SSS has not had a spokesperson since September 2015, shortly after Mr Daura took over, despite demands by media advocates.

The police did not return requests for comments about when Mr Daura was handed over to the SSS and other details surrounding his interrogation.

Although specific allegations against Mr Daura are still being tidied by law enforcement authorities, the major crux of why he might be facing charges weighs heavily on corruption allegations.

Already, one of his closest associates at the SSS has flipped on him, recounting gruesome details of fraudulent activities allegedly executed by Mr Daura to newsmen over the past 24 hours.

It was also learnt that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission is after Mr Daura, but details of that are still fuzzy as on Thursday morning. A spokesperson for the EFCC did not return requests for comments.

Multiple security sources are, however, not optimistic about the possibility of EFCC taking Mr Daura into custody, much less filing charges against him. This is not necessarily because they feared Mr Magu might be trying to avenge Mr Daura’s thwarting of his confirmation by the Senate, but because it would be a major flight from a longstanding culture in the security circles.

“No serious service will release its men to other services for investigations and prosecution,” a security source said. “Except there is an executive order from above.”

The EFCC has moved against security chiefs in the past, including former Inspector-General Tafa Balogun and service chief under President Goodluck Jonathan, but the presidents reportedly signed off on these.

Whether Mr Osinbajo has asked the EFCC to probe Mr Daura was unclear. The presidency did not immediately return requests for comments Thursday morning. (Punch)

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Sack Of Ex-DSS Boss, Daura, A Unanimous Decision – Femi Adesina

Lawal-Daura-1

Former DSS DG, Lawal Daura

Olalekan Adetayo, Abuja

The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, on Wednesday said the Tuesday sacking of Mr Lawal Daura as the Director-General of the Department of State Services was a unanimous decision.

He said there was no way the Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, would have taken the decision without unanimity with President Muhammadu Buhari who is currently on vacation.

Adesina gave the explanation while answering questions from State House correspondents at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

He said since there was no power tussle between the two leaders, he expected that the decision would be a unanimous one.

The presidential spokesman added that Osinbajo, being a decent man, would have done the needful before taking the decision.

He reiterated his position that the Presidency remains one.

Adesina said, “What we will like to say for the umpteenth time is that the Presidency is one.

“Whenever the President is proceeding on vacation, he transmits power to the Vice President, who then becomes the Acting President. On this occasion, he also did that. So, the acting President has all the powers of a President.

“Now, it is a matter of decency and we know that the acting President is a decent man. There is no tussle for power, there is no tough battle between him and the President.

“When something like what happened yesterday (Tuesday) will happen, there will be unanimity.

“There is no way there won’t be unanimity on that kind of decision. It is not something that will be discussed with the press, but know that there was unanimity in the decision.”  (Punch)

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