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Is Nigerian security architecture degenerating into a mess?

Director General of the Directorate of State Security, DSS, Lawal Daura accused the acting Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, lbrahim Magu of corruption and makes it official by sending his report to both president Buhari and the National Assembly, NASS.On account of that damning report, the EFCC boss failed to secure Senate confirmation of his appointment.

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Perhaps hurting from the inability of its acting chairman to secure parliamentary approval for his appointment, the agency accused the now sacked Director General of Nigeria Intelligence Agency, NIA, Wole Oke of corruption and stormed a safe house where a total of N13b in assortment of foreign currencies are discovered.

Thereafter,  the EFCC went on a counter offensive against the DSS by attempting to arrest the immediate past DG of agency, Bassey Ekpenyong for complicity in the alleged misappropriation of $2.1b funds set aside for arms purchase by the ousted regime to combat the terrorist sect Boko haram. The former NSA Ahmed Dasuki, warehoused the funds which is actually believed to have been applied as campaign funds the immediate past administration.

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Reportedly on the order of the current DG of DSS, Daura, Ekpeyong was ring fenced by the agency’s operatives and protected from arrest.

The plot then thickens as a former Assistant Inspector General, Isa Misau, now a serving senator accuses Inspector General of Police, lGP Idris Abubakar of corruption for allegedly demanding bribe from officers for lucrative postings and abuse of office such as dating a female police officer etc. Since the IGP has vehemently denied the charge, it is currently a subject of litigation.

That’s not all.

The Comptroller General of Customs, Hamid Ali has also alleged that the corrupt people formerly domiciled in the PDP have now mutated and made their way into the control room of power in the current APC led government.

The brazenness of the economic brigandage and the lack of appetite by the government in power to vigorously prosecute indicted officials make one wonder if Nigeria is not supposed to be a nation governed by the rule of laws as opposed to being a land of people who operate above the law? 

However, the narrative is not a make believe movie, but an existential reality in our country Nigeria where absurdity would appear to be the new normal. 

The DG of DSS, Lawal Daura said it best when he narrowed down the reason the Nigerian security architecture has become like a house of cards to lack of or poor interagency cooperation.

For instance the revelation to the public that billions of Naira is stashed away as slush funds for covert activities is an anathema. So also are the other secretive security activities which are now in the public domain and might have compromising effects on the gathering and sharing of intelligence through activities of reliable sources, undercover operatives and other members of the intelligence community who might have been unduly exposed.

In the midst of the unfolding security services hiatus, what role is the office of the National Security Adviser, ONSA headed by Babagana Mungono, playing? Ideally, that’s the office that’s supposed to be coordinating all the security functions of government on behalf of Mr. President.

So what’s going on?

From a distance, the NSA who is a retired army brigadier general strikes me as an officer and a gentleman. Correct me if I am wrong but I’m yet to meet anybody that has a contrarian view to the general understanding that the NSA is a thoroughbred professional that does not fancy ruffling feathers unnecessarily.  

To that extent, I would imagine that he must be working assiduously behind the scene to manage the damage being done to the credibility of the security and intelligence community by the ongoing butting of heads by the various agencies that are supposed to be under his purview.

 

Magnus Onyibe, Lagos.

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