Cabal join Buhari in London to reinstate Daura as Nigerians celebrate his impeachment

Following what insiders described as desperate efforts to drag in the mud a powerful member of the kitchen cabinet of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration, some members of then cabinet have arrived London in a bid to secure a reprieve for the sacked boss of the Department of State Services (DSS), Malam Lawal Musa Daura.

This paper reliably gathered from a credible source privy to the behind-the-scene maneuvering and power play in the seat of government that members of the kitchen cabinet of the administrations are not taking it easy, as it is obvious to them if they shy away from saving Daura, they may suffer same fate in the months ahead.
According to the source; “Considering the fate that befell Daura, some members of the cabal are unease and have vowed to ensure to mount pressure on Mr. President to review the termination of the DSS boss by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

“The letter to the Acting President by the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Kpotun Idris, detailing the investigation of Daura is reflective of what may befall him if nothing is done to save his neck.”

Continuing, the source further said; “I can tell you that they are in London to tell the President that Daura has done nothing wrong to deserve the harsh treatment meted on him.”

The police undertook thorough search of both the sacked DSS home and his guest house located in Maitama during which the huge discovery of funds in foreign currencies and weapons is causing consternation among Nigerians and the international community.

This paper also gathered that while in London, the cabal will try to convince the President to dump Osinbajo as his running mate, as there are moles in the APC to frustrate his comeback bid in 2019.

Asked if it was possible to have Daura reinstated to his former position, the source responded, “Daura will not be the first public official to be reinstated. You can recall that the Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Professor Usman Yusuf, also from Katsina like the president and Daura, was reinstated to his position even after a committee that was set up by Osinbajo found him culpable of misappropriation of funds running into billions.

However, the conditions believed to have been given by Acting President Osinbajo to President Buhari before he got the approval to kick out the former DSS boss is seen as one that may not likely be toyed or tempered with by Buhari.

Osinbajo, who was believed to have been irked by the rude response he got from Lawal Daura, had reportedly told the president on phone that either him (Osinbajo) or Lawal Daura had to go for which the president opted quickly for the sack of Daura.
President Buhari, it was gathered could not dare to toy with the idea of retaining Lawal Daura at the expense of his deputy knowing the political implications with regards to the gale of defection and possible backlash as well as the implication of having Osinbajo leave the administration and the Party which might be followed by former governor of Lagos State and one of the leaders of the APC, Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu and other South-west states.

President Buhari is believed to have weighed the options and came to the realization that it was far cheaper to sacrifice Lawal Daura, who is believed to be carrying too main baskets of sins committed against different interest groups.

The days ahead, according to the source close to corridors of power, may prove heady as President Buhari may be forced to either accept the thinking of the cabal or stick with his deputy whose decision to sack Daura has been and still being applauded by Nigerians and the international community.

Meanwhile, as President Buhari continues to face embarrassment of protesting Nigerians over his holiday in London, our checks indicate that President Buhari may have to shorten his visit by a day or two in order to take control of the situation.
Source: Forefront
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OPINION: NIA symphony of corruption: The untold story of mediocrity, betrayal and blackmail

By ALKALI DANJUMA
Almost six months after President Muhammadu Buhari appointed Mr. Ahmed Rufai Abubakar as the head of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), tempers that trailed the action seem to be simmering over what was seen as gross injustice to Ambassador Muhammed Dauda, the man who legitimately ought to hold the office.

While Dauda has been licking his wounds in silence and pursuing justice with a calculated calm, the roles played by certain individuals, including Ambassador Babagana Kingibe and his Kanuri kinsman, Abba Kyari in foisting a misfit on the NIA for open vindictive reasons have remained a sore to the government of President Muhammadu Buhari.

Babagana Kingibe and Abba Kyari only used President Buhari as an alibi to advance their ethnic agenda against the minorities back home in Borno. Dauda’s sack to many observers from his native place of birth in Biu, were quick to observe that the involvement of Kingibe and Kyari may not be unconnected with ethno sectional struggles amongst the dominant Kanuri tribe and Ambassador Dauda’s Babur minorities back home in Borno.

According to a particular respondent, the duo of Kyari and Kingibe have much entrenched their interests in Buhari’s Government, such that they try to suppress the emergence of any possible counterforce from other Borno citizens, especially from other ethnic groups of the southern part, who are non-Kanuri speaking.
The plan to ‘capture’ the NIA was a deliberate and comprehensive one that was well planned, both Ambassadors Yadam and Dauda were not really slated as substantive Directors General. They were merely called in to fill a transitionary gap. After the cabal decided to remove Amb Oke and replace him with Ahmed Rufai Abubakar in April 2017, the issue of what to do with Amb. Yadam, who was then the most senior came up and it was decided that he should be allowed to act until November 2017, when he will retire on age, A.R Abubakar will thereafter just be announced conveniently.

However an unforseen and unexpected twist came up, when the Vice President came up with his own plan to replace Amb Oke with a Yoruba man, which was seen as a fair deal (taking into consideration that it was their kinsman that was removed) since the DGSS and NSA are both Northerners. He then brought two names; Ambassadors Otukoya and Ladipo (both former Directors of NIA), for consideration.
This sudden ‘ambush’ by the VP therefore necessitated an urgent need for plan B. to checkmate the VP. It was actually the plan B that brought Amb Dauda into the picture. They will recommend the setting up of a Presidential Review Panel(PRP) to buy time so Amb Dauda(the most senior Director) from Chad will be brought to fill in the gap being the most senior Director.

They know that bringing him will douse the issue of replacing Amb Oke with a Yoruba man, since his emergence will appear to be in line with the normal traditional transitional change of baton, from one DG to the other. But the plan did not stop there, AR Abubakar will still be made the DG, after time has taken care of the Yoruba concern. Amb. Dauda while Acting as the DG, will be quickly replaced by a fellow Kanuri kinsman(prematurely recalled from Washington)in Chad. A win win situation, as there will now be three Kanuri Ambassadors in NIA alone(Equatorial Guinea, Chad, and Cameroon). Mallam Rufai Abubakar will then be quietly announced as DG of NIA, using his advantage as a Katsina indigene who is already known to the President.

So in summary, it seemed that Mallam AR Abubakar was actually appointed surreptitiously sometimes in March or April 2017, with neither the consent nor recommendations of NSA, as required by law. All these while, he was just waiting for the plan to play out. This will then leave Dauda with two choices, to serve under Abubakar (his distant junior) or retire from service.”

Ahmed Rufai Abubakar joined the NIA, as Junaid Muhammad put it in the Guardian interview of 17the January, 2018, by accident. The reason why he was said to have joined the NIA by accident was because there was supposed to be a meeting of what they called Nigeria/Niger commission and unfortunately the then DG of NIA did not make arrangement for interpreters from Lagos, when the summit was slated to hold in Kaduna.
So they identified Ahmed Rufai who was in Katsina and could communicate fluently in French. He was then picked purposely to serve as an interpreter for the occasion. After that, the then NIA DG, who was a Katsina man decided to induct and recruit him into the NIA. Stories coming in from the NIA confirmed to us that, Ahmed Rufai Abubakar was improperly recruited into the National Intelligence Agency, NIA, having been brought in from the Katsina State Civil Service on GL level 12.

Instead of placing him one steps down to GL. 10 as required for officers joining the Federal Civil Service from the states, he was moved to GL.14, three clear steps ahead of his contemporaries. This was surreptitiously done on the instrumentality of his godfather, the then Director General of the NIA, Ambassador Ibrahim, Talban Katsina (and a member of the Kingibe PRP). This discriminatory policy was sold to the Talban by one Mustapha Betara Aliyu, who wanted some favors from Ambassador Ibrahim. As a reward for his role in helping Rufai at that time, Mustapha Betara Aliyu (apparently led by envy, poverty and desperation to betray his lifelong friend and colleague) has since been appointed as a Special Assistant /Adviser to the DG (birds of the same feather surely flock together).

Sources say he is already making maneuvers to return to the NIA having been forced to leave for failing promotion examinations like his godson principal.

Alhaji Abubakar Rufai Ahmed, Director General of the National Intelligence Agency is not a stranger to controversies. It is well known and widely circulated in the media that from the circumstances surrounding his birth and upbringing, through his academics to his eventual recruitment into the NIA, doubts and contentions have remained recurring decimals. While he admitted in his resume that he was born and bred in Chad, some people want Nigerians to believe that he was born and bred in Nigeria. References to the Instrument that established the NIA known as Instrument No. NIA 1 Under the NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCIES DECREE 1986 (Capt. 278). Under ACCOUNTABILITY AND CODE OF CONDUCT article 10 subsection (b), states clearly that the establishment and maintenance of a system of independent (cradle to retirement) vetting of staff at recruitment stage and periodic re-vetting throughout the carrier of the staff of the agency, were a sin qua non. But that was completely ignored since the benefactors of the current DG refused to allow the vetting team to go to Chad where he himself admitted that he spent most of his childhood days and early education. Also there was no re-vetting when he suddenly resurfaced as the Director General of the NIA as required by law.

His appointment was greeted with resistance because people felt he was a judge in his own case having served as the secretary to a Presidential Review panel that recommended strict procedures for the emergence of a substantive Director General of the NIA. It is not surprising that the controversies have culminated into series of court cases by civil society groups, and even by Ambassador Dauda himself. This is even as there have been hues and cries in the media, and by imminent personalities all of whom are accusing President Muhammadu Buhari of encouraging mediocrity and nepotism. That the new NIA boss retired from the civil service unceremoniously for failing his promotion examinations to director grade thrice, have never been dispelled. Now, to head the very agency that he was forced to leave because he couldn’t pass exams was what many people regarded as an anathema.

The NIA system stipulates that where one fails examination thrice, one would be asked to go. This was the principle that saw the back of Abubakar Rufai at the organization, having failed to pass his promotion examination to the next cadre. Even though the presidency had denied this allegation on his behalf, they haven’t shown any document to prove otherwise, or explain the circumstances which led to his premature ouster from the agency.
It is common knowledge that while the DG, was forced out of the NIA some years back, owing to his failure to pass his promotional exams to the directorate cadre three times, against the background that the circumstances and processes of his recruitment into the NIA were controversial and contentious, it remains baffling to so many people how a failure could work his way back and become the boss in the face of perceived strict web of procedures. It is even curious to the global intelligence community that a Government which prides itself as the apex of incorruptibility and integrity, ignored its own rules, and entangled President Muhammadu Buhari into such complex web of intrigues and a callous miscalculation.

Opinions across the board indicate that Nigerians are not happy with his appointment for such reasons like: What was the reason for the deviation from the 32 years seamless traditional of leadership transition order of the NIA, the attendant implication is that the President can tomorrow decide to appoint a retired Brigadier as Chief of Army Staff or a retired Commissioner of Police as IGP. The President ignored the enabling law that established the NIA, and went ahead to appoint a DG without the recommendations of the NSA as required by law, He also ignored the recommendations of a committee, he set up purposely to reposition the Agency for better efficiency and service delivery, by appointing Rufai.

It will be recalled that the Presidential Review Panel(PSP), headed by Ambassador Babagana Kingibe recommended in Paragraph 4. (a) “that the DG shall be appointed among the Corp of Serving Directors”. From the foregoing, Rufai clearly was never a Director and certainly not serving, which makes it morally and ethically wrong for the Secretary of the PSP to end up as the beneficiary of his own assignment.

Other posers raised includes, why the barrage of allegations made against the New DG were never investigated, before the confirmation of his appointment? Some feel it was a matter of fait accompli, irrespective of whatever comes out of any investigation that the EFCC or the National Assembly may conduct. While others were curious as to why Ambassador Dauda was removed in the first instance and subsequently dismissed even when he did not commit any offence, neither was he found to be inefficient or wanting on the job.

An aggrieved staff of the agency who craved anonymity also revealed that the appointment itself was illegal, as it falls short of The NIA instruments, which vested the power of the appointment of the DG in the President on the recommendations of the NSA (As contained under the appointment of DG article 3 subsections 1, 2,and 3) and not under the office of the Chief of Staff as it is now. Legally, the office of Chief of Staff to the President has no role at all in the appointment or running of any arm of government, there is also no mention of that office at all in any part thereof or even in the National Securities Agencies Act (CAPT 278) of 1986.

It is therefore disturbing why the Buhari administration has refused to deal with Kingibe, Abba Kyari and Rufai despite these weighty allegations of corruption against them. With all these anomalies and others too numerous to mention, the anti-corruption fight is now generally being perceived by so many Nigerians as insincere, biased and selective.

The questions Nigerians are now asking is, does President Buhari knows that the NIA boss, Ahmed Rufai Abubakar, failed his promotional exams before he appointed him to head the same organization that kicked him out? Does he also know that the NIA boss was involved in the scheme to muscle Ambassador Mohammed Dauda into giving the NIA intervention funds to corrupt individuals now in charge of affairs in the NIA? Events in the coming days may give insights.

Danjuma sent in this piece from Jos

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Nigerians cry of govt sponsored phobia against them in India

Nigerians and indeed other Africans living in India are faced with daily molestations and harassments for either over-staying or some visa issues. They get arrested by the Indian police and assembled like criminals. The Nigerian Embassy in India has not taken any steps to alleviate the situation nor has the Nigerian government as at the time of compiling this interview in which Pointer Express spoke with a Nigerian businessman residing in India Mr Odo Amos Ikechukwu. The issue has been on the news headlines in India for a while now as though it is a planned operation.

“…I mean taking retaliatory actions. I reminded the Ambassador that the former Nigerian Ambassador to India had similar experience but he came out boldly and issued a note of warning to Indian authority and the harassment of Nigerians in India stopped then.”

Here are excerpts of the interview with Mike Odeholonta

Q. Kindly introduce yourself.

A. My name is Odo Amos Ikechukwu. I am from Enugu Ezike, in Igbo Eze North Enugu state.

Q. What do you do for a living?

A. I am a businessman and I live in India, I am into the sales of garments. I export garments and natural Indian hair to Nigeria.

Q. Kindly describe the situation of Nigerians staying in India?

A. There have been massive arrests of Africans recently especially Nigerians in a state called Karnataka. The government of that state claims that the Nigerians have overstayed their visas and their work permits have expired and therefore they should be deported.

Q. What steps have you taken to redress the situation?

A. Actually I spoke with our Ambassador Major General Chris Eze and it seems he can’t calm the situation, because the information reaching me now is that the arrested Nigerians will be deported back to Nigeria any moment from now. I wanted Our Ambassador to ensure that the Nigerian authority retaliates for that will automatically bring the two countries to negotiating table. There are many Indians living in Nigeria without valid visas and our government gives them protection. So why should they be treating Nigerians like animals here in India?

Q. Why then have the Nigerians not validated their documents?

A. This is not the case, what is happening is the case of hate, racism and xenophobia. Most of those arrested said that all their documents are intact. And that it is just a ploy to get them deported.

Q. Are you sure those arrested are not into drugs abuse or laundering?

A, Not at all! They were arrested based on visa related issues.

Q. Why then are the authorities more concerned about Nigerians staying there?

A. The truth of the matter is that they are not fighting war against illicit drugs or other related issues. They are rather they are rather clamping down on Nigerians staying here without valid visas they claim. It is not about drugs at all.

Q. For How long have these arrests been going on?

A. They started since July 12th and are still continuing. In this month of August alone, the crackdown was around was from 9th to 12th. What is painful is that those arrested are in terrible situations; they are not given food or drink and have not been allowed to bath or drink.

Q. You said you have contacted the Nigerian Embassy, what was their response?

A. I spoke with our Ambassador Major General Chris Eze (rtd) and I pleaded with him to retaliate for that will automatically stop government of Karnataka state from deporting our people but he said he can’t do that it doesn’t work that way. I mean taking retaliatory actions. I reminded the Ambassador that the former Nigerian Ambassador to India had similar experience but he came out boldly and issued a note of warning to Indian authority and the harassment of Nigerians in India stopped then.

Q. What call have you for the Nigerian Government?

A. The best Nigerian government can do to put a stop to it is retaliatory action and that will put a stop to it.

Nigerian girls stranded in slavery in Saudi Arabia -NAPTIP

Dame Julie Okah–Donli, Director General of National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), that there were a lot of Nigerian girls who were stranded in Saudi working under slave-like conditions in people’s home.

According to her, most of them are raped, most are made to work 18 hours out of 24 hours.

She said that many were made to sleep in very poor condition and not paid in accordance with what the fraudulent trafficking agencies promised them.

“There is a very big cartel that works with embassies, who secured visas for the victims because those who have genuine businesses don’t easily get visas but the trafficked,” she said.

The NAPTIP DG told the minister of foreign Affairs, Godfrey Onyeama that when came along with one of the victims rescued by the team said that the team was set up by the minister after a complaint was lodged by NAPTIP on the nation’s youth being innocently trafficked to Saudi.

“We came here complaining to you about the rate at which our young ones are being taken out of the country to Saudi Arabia under the guise of getting jobs for them.

“There were calls from victims who were trapped in Saudi, who are suffering and you graciously set up a team comprising NAPTIP officials and the ministry to go to Saudi and investigate.

“When the team visited Saudi Arabia, we met with more than 50 girls who were interviewed and we were told that there were many more girls who were stranded in various parts of Saudi Arabia.

“One of the victims was brought back and she is here to recount her ordeal,” she said.

The victim who was veiled while narrating her ordeal in Saudi said that she was lured by a friend living in Dubai who connected her with a woman in Banex Plaza in Abuja.

The girl who spoke in English fluently but didn’t reveal any of her identities said she left for Saudi with other girls on Dec. 30th, 2017 before being rescued by NAPTIP through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“It all started through a friend who claimed she was living in Dubai; she introduced me to a woman agent in Abuja, I was living in Lagos and the latter invited me to meet her in Abuja.

“When I came, I was taken for a medical check-up in Dr Wada’s Hospital.
“The agent promised that I would go to Saudi as a sales girl and that I would be earning equivalent of N150,000 there.

“Everything was processed through her and when we got to Saudi it was a different thing entirely, my passport was seized and I ended working as a house help.

She said that when the condition was unbearable she called the woman and said that she could no longer cope but the agent said she could not leave.
According to her the agent said she must pay N1.7 million before she could be released.

“And if I could not pay I would have to work for two years, so I contacted a journalist friend who contacted NAPTIP that contacted the Nigerian Embassy through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,” she said.

The girl who said she almost committed suicide before help came for her called on the Federal Government to come to the help of thousands of Nigerian girls trapped in Saudi Arabia.

“I want Government to assist those other girls that are stranded because it is not easy. Nigerian girls are passing through hell in Saudi, there may not be work in Nigeria but it is better to stay back.

“I went through physical torture because my boss and her children beat me when I said that I wanted to go back to Nigeria.”

UN official resigns amidst pressure to withdraw reports on Israel Apartheid

A senior United Nations official has resigned, following pressure from Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to withdraw the landmark report published earlier this week finding Israel guilty of apartheid.
Rima Khalaf, the head of the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) which published the report, announced her resignation at a press conference in Beirut on Friday.

Reuters reports that Khalaf took the step “after what she described as pressure from the secretary-general to withdraw a report accusing Israel of imposing an ‘apartheid regime’ on Palestinians.”
“I resigned because it is my duty not to conceal a clear crime, and I stand by all the conclusions of the report,” Khalaf stated.
As of Friday, a press release announcing the report remained visible on the ESCWA website, but the link to the report itself from the press release no longer works .

Customs seize N2b worth of Codeine

The Federal Operations Unit, FOU, Zone A of Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, has intercepted a truckload of codeine, 49 cartons of tramadol and other items with duty paid value of N2.1 billion.

The seizures were made in the last two weeks.
Disclosing this in Lagos yesterday, Customs Area Controller of the unit, Garba Mohammed, said following a tip-off, the truck with number plates XB 286 BEN was accosted along Igboelerin Junction, close to Alaba International Market, containing DSP codeine cough syrup packaged in 100 milligrams packs, as well as Chaka pain extra.
The Customs boss also disclosed that the 49 cartons of 100 milligrams of tramadol would be handed over to the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration Control, NAFDAC.
Other items seized within the period under review, he said, are: “21 sacks of pangolin scales, weighing 1,031 kilogrammes and four pieces of elephant tusks weighing 29.35 kilogrammes from a shop located in Tejuosho Market in Yaba.
“The seized endangered species have a DPV of N253.6 million. The items are seized because the trade on endangered species is globally prohibited.
“The items will be handed over to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, for further investigation.”

Nigerian pilgrim dies in Makkah

National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, NAHCON, has confirmed the death of a female Nigerian pilgrim in Makkah, Saudi Arabia.

Head of the Medical Team of NAHCON, Ibrahim Kana, confirmed the development while speaking with journalists in Makkah, yesterday.
He said: “On the Makkah mortality, she was our patient; a known diabetic and we referred her to King Abdulaziz Hospital in Makkah before she died yesterday.
“We have already captured her on our Electronic Health Medical Records System.”
It was gathered that the dead pilgrim hailed from Ungogo Local Government Area of Kano State.
The identity of the pilgrim is being withheld because the incident is yet to be communicated to her family, in line with NAHCON’s practice of awaiting formal directive on such incidents from the concerned state before telling relations of about such incidents.