The National Security Adviser (NSA) Major General Babagana Monguno (rtd) said the country’s intelligence agencies would continue to clash unless the National Security Agencies Decree 1986 is amended.
Monguno was quoted in a report of the Senate ad-hoc committee that probed the clash between officials of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Department of State Service (DSS) and Nigeria Intelligence Agency (NIA) last year.
The agencies clashed last year when EFCC operatives attempted to arrest Mr Ayodele Oke, a former DG of NIA and Mr Ita Ekpeyong, a former DG of the DSS.
The NSA while expressing concern over the lack of unity and cooperation among intelligence agencies in the country said the situation has led to, “The current state of disjointedness and disharmony amongst sister agencies. This resulted due to the National Security Agencies Decree 1986; Cap 278, Cap 278 LFN section 14 01-2 which has stripped the NSA of the power to check the other Security Agencies that have now become independent of his office due to their now ‘easy’ access to the President. Thus, there is a desperate need to streamline the Agencies and make them answerable to the NSA.”
Monguno told senators that the President was aware of the state of things and also presented evidences of instances where his duties were usurped due to lack of discipline exhibited by Security Agencies.
He disclosed that he was not aware of the EFCC chairman’s move to arrest any of the former intelligence chiefs until after the media reports and that the resistance made by the Security Agencies during the arrest cast some aspersions.
The Senate had while considering the report of the panel chaired by Senator Francis Alimikhena (APC, Edo) resolved to initiate the amendment of the act with a view to giving powers of control to the Coordinator on National Security over these agencies on behalf of the President.