Facts have emerged as to why President Muhammadu Buhari approved the appointment of Ahmed Rufai Abubakar as the substantive Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency, NIA, despite concerns over his alleged incompetence, Chadian citizenship issue and negation of Federal Character.
Recall that on April 12, 2017, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, discovered a huge sum of money at a four-bedroom apartment on the 7th floor at Osborne Towers, located at 16 Osborne Road, Ikoyi, Lagos.
The then Director-General of the NIA, Ayo Oke, later owned up to the seizure, saying the money belonged to the agency.
A week after the EFCC’s discovery, the President suspended Oke and ordered a full-scale investigation into the circumstances in which the NIA came into possession of the fund.
Following the President’s directive that the most senior officer in the NIA should take charge as the Acting Director-General, Nigeria’s Ambassador to Chad in the person of Mohammed Dauda was recalled to take charge as D-G in an acting capacity.
A Three-Man Committee headed by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, with Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami and National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno, as members were set up by the President.
Following the submission of the Osinbajo-Committee report, the President appointed a review panel headed by Babagana Kingibe, a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation. Three former Directors of the NIA, Albert Horsfall, Zakari Ibrahim and Ezekiel Oladeji served as members, while Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs/International Relations and now substantive D-G of NIA, Ahmed Rufai Abubakar, served as the Secretary.
Less than a month after submission of the Kingibe panel report, the President curiously appointed Abubakar as the substantive Director-General of the agency, sparking debates that the new external security boss was not competent enough to head the agency.
Abubakar, who until his appointment served as the President’s Arabic and French Interpreter, joined the NIA from the service of Katsina State under Zakari Ibrahim in the mid-90s and resigned after failure to pass promotion exam twice.
“He was a Level 12 officer in Katsina Civil Service when, in a controversial transfer of service, the then DG Ambassador Zakari Ibrahim offered him Level 14 — against the service rule.
“He sat promotion exams twice and failed. So he voluntarily retired in 2013 to avoid sack,” alleged a source familiar with the inner working of the nation’s external security outfit.
After his resignation from service, Abubakar was engaged by Kingibe to be his assistant during his peace missions in some crisis-ridden African regions due to his (Mr Abubakar’s) bilingual advantage.
It was also gathered from informed sources that the new D-G was born in Chad Republic and had his primary and secondary education in the same Central African country.
There have been fears in the security circle that a person with dual citizenship should not be made the head of the country’s spy agency.
“Chad has not been cooperating with Nigeria on Boko Haram crisis in the Lake Chad region. How could a Chadian citizen, whose many siblings and relations live in Chad head this strategic agency?
“It is also not right to appoint the heads of Nigeria’s internal and external security outfits from one state, Katsina. The acting D-G, Ambassador Mohammed Dauda should either be retained based on his experience and good service track-record or appoint someone from the South to balance our diversity.
“But appointing these key security chiefs from the President’s State is the height of nepotism. And the fact of the matter is that the President is not helping matters regarding the unity of this country.
“This position should have gone to the South East zone as the region is tactically edged out of the security architecture of the country,” said the security source.
Inside sources revealed that Northern Presidency Cabals, allegedly remote-controlled by the President’s Nephew, Mamman Daura, is behind the appointment of Abubakar, saying the agency has about $44 million extra-budgetary intervention in its vaults.
“Apart from the $43 million Ayo Oke hid in Osborne Towers apartment, some forces are interested in getting a share in the $44m quarantined in the NIA vaults,” added the source.
The source stated further that the President’s Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari, and Messrs Kingibe and Zakari Ibrahim imposed their lackey in order to have control over one of the nation’s “cash cows” ahead of 2019 despite concerns over his dual citizenship and alleged incompetence.
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