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I Stopped Kingibe, Abba Kyari, Rufai Abubakar From Stealing $44m- Acting D-G NIA

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Immediate past Acting Director-General (D-G) of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Mr Mohammed Dauda, has disclosed that he fought off attempts by Messrs. Babagana Kingibe, former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, and his protégé and incumbent D-G of the NIA, Mr. Rufai Abubakar, and Abba Kyari, President Muhammadu Buhari’s Chief of Staff, to steal $44million NIA intervention fund. The disclosure was made in a brief to the House of Representatives Committee on National Security and Intelligence.

In the brief, exclusively obtained by SaharaReporters, Mr. Dauda said he assumed office as Acting D-G on 6 November 2017, following a brief meeting with Mr. Kyari at the Presidential Villa. The Chief of Staff, he said, conveyed the President’s directive to him that he should function in acting capacity while waiting for further directives. President Buhari with Chief of Staff Abba Kyari Bayo Omoboriowo / State House

On leaving the Presidential Villa, Mr. Dauda said he headed straight to have a meeting with Mr. Arab Yadam, who was D-G in acting capacity but was retiring. The meeting, he said, dwelt on what the retiring Acting D-G did in the seven months during which he ran the agency. The briefing, said Mr. Dauda, comprised his administrative, operational and technical duties, all of which were highly confidential. Mr. Yadam also gave his successor the picture of the agency’s financial position, which included $44million he informed was part of the intervention fund that brought the Ikoyi scandal.

After the briefing, Mr. Yadam introduced Mr. Dauda to Brigadier-General Mohammed Ja’afaru, the Acting Director of Finance and Administration (DFA), who briefed him on the nature of the agency’s assignments. Among these are the daily operations of the accounts for both domestic and foreign management. The Acting DFA also told Mr. Dauda that the $44million in his custody, which was not part of the agency’s budgetary allocation, should not be touched because it had become an exhibit in an ongoing case. The purpose of the disclosure, Mr. Dauda said, was for his information.

Not long after Mr. Dauda assumed office, the Presidential Review Panel (PRP), headed by Mr. Kingibe, started its assignment in NIA. The agency provided the members office space, living accommodation, food and other logistics. Aside from Mr. Kingibe, other members include Mr. Albert K. Horsfall, a for D-G of the State Security Service; Mr. Olaniyi Oladeji, Mr. ZY Ibrahim and the current DG, NIA, Mr. Abubakar, who was PRP Secretary.

After the maiden meeting with the panel, said Mr. Dauda, Mr. Kingibe called him to advise that in his own interest, he should cooperate with them fully and avoid being close with the National Security Adviser. Mr. Kingibe also disclosed that they had presidential powers to overrule previous instructions or directives issued by the NSA.

“I was instructed to channel to channel all our activities, contacts, concerns and complaints through the Office of the Chief of Staff only,” said Mr. Dauda.

He said the instructions left him in discomfort, as they contradict all the provisions of the agency’s instruments. Not wanting to start on a confrontational note, he kept away from the NSA as instructed.

Things, he said, went on smoothly until Messrs. Kingibe and Abubakar kept pressuring him for money. Mr. Dauda said he explained that the agency’s dollar account was low because of the difficulty in sourcing dollars from the Central Bank of Nigeria, following the crises that arose from the Ikoyi money. However, the replied that the $44m in the custody of the Acting DFA belongs to the agency and that the DFA had no power to stop Mr. Dauda from spending the money. They added that since the crisis had blown over, Mr. Dauda should go and tell the Brigadier-General to return to his job. He was advised to write to the National Security Adviser to withdraw him or ask the NIA security department to stop him from entering the premises.

Mr. Dauda said the pressure was huge, but he felt if the Brigadier-General left, he might not be able to resist further pressure from the desperate gang.

“They kept insisting that they had the mandate of the President and that the President had directed the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to hands off the money and that it was legitimately ours. They verbally queried me on the logic of keeping the money as an exhibit since there was no case pending in court. Ambassador Kingibe told me that he was the one who, through the Chief of Staff, drafted the memo that the President assented to, instructing the EFCC to hands off our case (Ikoyi Gate) just to convince me that there are no more encumbrances on the money,” stated Mr. Dauda.

Still, no dice. He claimed that the kept pressuring and threatening that if he did not get rid of the Brigadier-General, he would have regrets. Mr. Dauda said he had no reason to get the man out and he actually enjoyed working with him. His refusal to do as they wished, he said, prompted Messrs. Kingibe and Abubakar to tell him at a meeting that he was refusing presidential orders to bar the Brigadier-General from the NIA premises. They warned him that there might be consequences if he remained adamant. At one of the meetings, explained Mr. Dauda, Mr. Horsfall advised him to ignore any suggestion that could cause confrontation between him and the NSA and advised his colleagues on the panel to put it as part of their recommendations to the President since they had his mandate, so he could order the NSA to remove the Acting DFA from NSA.

The pressure on him for money, the former Acting D-G said, intensified.

“They wanted money for medical treatment or holidays abroad for their families and girlfriends. I met and gave a lady simply known to me as Angela from Ambassador Kingibe money twice at the car park of the Hilton Hotel. Once $50,000 and the second time $20,000, which apparently did not impress him…Even the current DG NIA once called me on whatsapp, just like Amb. Kingibe always does, and said that his Oga was traveling to London for medical check-up and he suggested that I should find something for him as a sign of good will. So, I reluctantly gave him $50,000 against my will, a decision that made me sad throughout the day,” he said. He added that Mr. Kingibe collected over $200,000 from him during the time he headed the PRP. Mr. Dauda said he was always using the President’s name to squeeze cash out of the NIA. They also undermined the Office of the National Security Adviser.

On 20 December 2017, said the former Acting DG, Mr. Kingibe asked the current DG NIA to tell him to meet them at home at 59 Nelson Mandela Street, Asokoro, Abuja. He was asked to come alone. At the meeting, he was told of his refusal to cooperate with them and they had brought him there to warn that the Acting DFA was conspiring with some people to steal the money. He was warned that he would be held liable if he did not stop their plan.

“They told me that their Committee had completed their assignment and that their recommendations were so generous to the DG NIA. They said they recommended the appointment of two Deputy Directors-General and watered down their powers enough so that they will not be in a position to pose any threat to the DG,” wrote Mr. Dauda.

They then suggested that it was his turn to do something in return as he was likely to get the President’s nod as the substantive DG only if he could immediately make $2million available.

“I told them it was not going to be possible as the only money available was the $44million and I didn’t know how to approach the Acting DFA. They also told me at the meeting that if I can’t sack the DFA, they would send someone to do it soon. That was my last communication with them until I heard of my removal from office on Wednesday 11 January on Channels Television around 8pm,’ said Mr. Dauda.

The next day, he advised the NSA to look at the possibility of evacuating the money from the NIA, an advice the NSA heeded. The money was moved and taken to the Office of the NSA.

Later that night, Mr. Dauda said he received a call from the Mr. Abubakar, who requested for a meeting with him and the staff who worked with him at 10pm.Mr. Abubakar said the meeting was ordered by Mr. Kyari. The meeting was eventually moved to the next day after Mr. Dauda protested that it was too late. At the meeting the next day, an enraged Mr. Abubakar said the Presidency blamed him for not taking over immediately thereby giving room for the money to be taken away and warned that Mr. Dauda would be held responsible.

When he finished, Mr. Dauda said he told him no money was missing and that he approved the transfer so the money could be safe.

“I told him that if there was no ulterior motive, the apprehension was unfounded. I also warned him to mind his language as I have always been his senior in this service,” Mr. Dauda stated.

He equally stated that his life is being threatened by the Kingibe gang and requested immediate protection for him and his family. Mr. Abubakar, he said, has already shown his hand with a letter requesting Mr. Dauda to return official vehicles in his possession. He has also received another letter restricting his movement on the claim that the agency was investigating leakage of sensitive information.

“These are acts meant to cow and intimidate me into submission and there are also attempts to bundle me out of my official quarters through extra-legal means and also to withdraw my security details, thereby impacting my security,” he said.

He called on the House Committee not to allow the Kingibe gang to subvert the rule of law by bullying him into submission.

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BREAKING: Arrested PDP thugs moved to Police Headquarters Abuja

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Some hoodlums who were hired by PDP chieftains to unleash mayhem during last Saturday botched Presidential and National Assembly elections have been moved to the Police Headquarters in Abuja for interrogation.

This is as the sponsors of the violence may have gone underground to evade Police arrest even as the Police have vowed to redouble their efforts and track them down and arrest them to explain their roles in the burning of vehicles which conveyed electoral officials and materials.

Top Police sources said three key members of the Governor Udom Emmanuel administration in Akwa Ibom State, have been linked to the mayhem that was visited on the people of Obot Akara Local Government Area of the state on the eve of the rescheduled presidential election.

According to confessional statements made to the Police by some of the  thugs at the Police Area Command in Ikot Ekpene on Saturday, the hoodlums have indicted three top officials who are wanted to shed more light on their roles in sponsoring militants.

The mayhem, which left four people dead and vehicles completely burnt on the eve of the rescheduled presidential election in the council was carried out by hoodlums imported into the state by three top officials who are indigenes of the senatorial district.

The Police in Akwa Ibom state had arrested over 400 thugs and militants imported into the state by chieftains of the Peoples Democratic Party to assist them in ballot box snatching and intimidation of voters.

Parading the suspects at the Police Area Command in Ikot Ekpene, a Police man who pleaded not to be named, disclosed to newsmen that the hoodlums were rounded up at Nto Ndang, Obot Akara after they got hint of their activities at the INEC office.

The Inspector General of Police, Mr Mohammed Adamu is said to have ordered a crack down on perpetrators of election violence and their sponsors. We gathered that those arrested with arms would be treated as terrorists and would be eventually arraigned in court.

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House Okays N30,000 as New Minimum Wage

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The House of Representatives has finally approved N30, 000 as the New national Minimum Wage.

President Muhammadu Buhari had sent a N27, 000 minimum wage bill to the National Assembly last week Thursday.

But the lawmakers adopted the report by the ad-hoc committee set up on the New Minimum Wage Bill which held a public hearing Monday and presented the report to the National Assembly.

The bill has already been passed for the third reading.

The lawmakers were unanimously in support of the adoption of the N30, 000 recommendation by the committee, which labour leaders insisted was approved by the tripartite committee set up by the President.

Details later….

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Governors express concern over increase in arms ahead of elections

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The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) has expressed concerns over the proliferation of arms and ammunition in the country ahead of the February 16 general election.

The Chairman of the forum and governor of Zamfara state, Abdul’aziz Yari, said the governors were also alarmed over the spate of kidnapping across the country.

Addressing journalists at the end of an emergency meeting held with the Office of the National Security Adviser and head of security agencies on Tuesday in Abuja, Yari said the governors have recommended a stronger collaboration and intelligence sharing amongst security agencies to ensure that lives and properties are protected.

According to him, the governors have further resolved to collaborate with security agencies to ensure that the elections are free, fair and credible.

He said: “Governors as major stakeholders, they seek our cooperation so that their job would be easier. We promised to do our best and ensure the election is free and credible. Not only that, we came through the ballot box and we are going through the same process to seek reelection and make sure that the election is free and is commended by the international community as they did in 2015.”

Yari further absolved the presidency of the allegation that the present administration was planning to rig the election saying the president has promised that he is not taking the “election in any way as do or die”.

While speaking, the Acting Inspector General of Police (IGP), Muhammed Adamu reassured Nigerians of a violence-free poll.

He assured further that the security agencies are ready for the election and would ensure that they mop up illegal arms in the system while saying the neutrality of the police shouldn’t be in doubt.

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Atiku writes UK, US others over Onnoghen’s suspension

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The opposition People’s Democratic Party presidential Candidate and former Vice president of Nigeria Atiku Abubakar has petitioned the United Kingdom, United State of America, France and Germany over the suspension of Walter Onnoghen as Nigeria’s chief justice.

“I have chosen to write this letter to Your Excellency for the enviable role that your country plays as champion of Democracy and the Rule of Law,” Abubakar wrote in the letter on Tuesday.

“As a Presidential Candidate in the forthcoming General Elections that will be conducted and supervised by the Government of President Muhammadu Buhari.”

“I feel the urgent need to share with you some of these key violations of the provisions of our constitution and to demand that you pile pressure on the Federal Government to desist from these violations and ensure a level playing field for the General Elections that are only a couple of weeks away.

Nigeria president Muhammadu Buhari on Friday swore in Ibrahim Tanko Muhammed as the new acting Chief Justice of Nigeria to replace embattled Onnoghen.

His swearing-in followed Onnoghen’s suspension by the president, who acted based on an order by the Code of Conduct Tribunal.

Onnoghen is facing a six-count charge of non-declaration of assets when he became the chief justice of Nigeria. Buhari said the allegations against Onnoghen were “grievous enough”.

Onnoghen’s suspension sparked reactions from Nigerians including the U.S. and Uk government

Uk noted that the “timing of this action, so close to national elections, gives cause for concern.”

“It risks affecting both domestic and international perceptions on the credibility of the forthcoming elections,” the statement read.

“We, along with other members of the international community, are following developments closely,” the statement read.

While the United State, on the other hand, said it “is deeply concerned by the impact of the executive branch’s decision to suspend and replace the Chief Justice and head of the judicial branch without the support of the legislative branch on the eve of national and state elections.”

“We note widespread Nigerian criticism that this decision is unconstitutional and that it undermines the independence of the judicial branch. That undercuts the stated determination of the government, candidates, and political party leaders to ensure that the elections proceed in a way that is free, fair, transparent, and peaceful.”

The Nigerian government said the reactions of the two countries were hasty.

The government said it would welcome partnerships for successful 2019 general elections but would not condone unfair interference in matters that are specifically internal.

“Nigeria reserves the right to be insulated from suggestions and or interference with respect to wholly internal affairs and commends international laws, customs and norms that mandate and require nations and the comity to respect this prerogative to all,”  presidential spokesman Garba Shehu said in a statement on Monday.

“Nigeria is confident of its electoral processes and her preparation for the imminent elections and the federal government has supported the independent electoral umpire in both its independence and resources needed to accomplish our desire and insistence on free and fair elections,” he added

But the former Vice president in his letter insisted that the “attempt to muscle out the Chief Justice of Nigeria using phoney charges at a time when His Lordship was primed to play a central role in the fast-approaching nationwide electoral process represents the boldest steps in the march to undermine our democracy,”

“This is undoubtedly an anti-democratic act which my political Party and I reject without reservation and for which I urge Your Excellency to condemn unequivocally,” he added

Abubakar affirmed that the “brazen authoritarian and imperious stride of the President Buhari is the latest action in a series of carefully planned onslaught on our nation’s hard-earned democracy by an extremely power hungry and anxious President and the cabal that feeds fat around him as February 16, 2019, draws nearer.”

Nigerians will be heading to poll less than a month from now to vote in a new president.

Buhari is seeking re-election with Abubakar mounting a strong challenge.

Abubakar, a former vice president during the Olusegun Obasanjo administration from 1999 till 2007, is contesting the office of the president for the fourth time.

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