REVEALED!!! National Intelligence Agency (NIA):The Enemy Within!

NIA Boss and NSA

By OUR CORRESPONDENT

There are glaring indications that the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) under the leadership of Ambassador Ezekiel Olaniyi Oladeji, is undergoing financial recklessness, mediocrity and sharp practices

In a petition titled “Appeal for Government Intervention at the National Intelligence Agency” dated August 15, 2012 and addressed to President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, a group known as Concerned Officers of National Intelligence Agency said except the federal government immediately intervenes, officers of the agency may adopt acts of defiance which undoubtedly will breed indiscipline and possibly a breakdown of law and order in the agency.
The petition which was also sent to the Senate President, Senator David Bonaventure Mark, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal , Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim  as well as the National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki, the Head of Service of the Federation, Alhaji Isa Bello Sali among others said apart from all sorts of alleged unprofessional activities of the NIA Boss, he has since been due for retirement since 10th March, 2010.
The Concerned Officers of National Intelligence Agency said “It is instructive to mention that Ambassador Ezekiel Olaniyi Oladeji took over the helms of affairs at the NIA from Ambassador Emmanuel Imohe in September 2009, six months to his mandatory retirement which was due on the 10th of March, 2010. Going by all the three statutory requirements of civil service, the DG should have retired on the 10th of March 2010. As it is now he is 63 years old, he has worked for 38 years and has been a director for the past 13 years before he became the DG.”
According to the petitioners, Oladeji has indeed introduced several reform programmes aimed at repositioning the service but these reform programmes are skewed for selfish interests. One of such issues is what is called the posting autonomy. As a director under Ambassador Imohe, he initiated and chaired the committee that affected the  agency’s relationship with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The concept was for the NIA to establish an autonomous financial regime and also improve on the size of officers going out on foreign postings. All these efforts leave much to be desired under the embattled D.G.
According to the petitioners, this has been achieved but with negative results.
Similarly, the petitioners also stated that the opening of official Bank Account for the NIA officers has drawn the attention of host Intelligence Agencies in the respective nations that something is fishy, thus blowing the diplomatic cover that officers need to operate and function without suspicion. The group said if an NIA officer arrives in Addis Ababa or Istanbul today, for instance, the Mission sends a request to the Foreign Ministry to open an additional official account, which is normally granted with great difficulty in some countries since they cannot understand the need to open another account beside the existing ones that have been there for a very long time without any problem as the case with other diplomatic Missions all over the world.
When the permission is eventually granted, it is used to pay only one person, which is the new officer, and which an averagely sensible host Counter-Intelligence service will not know that this person is a “Special Officer” as all nations always assume that most diplomats are spies.

The group said “Why should the Mission open a new account just to pay one or two officers when the mission has been operating only one official account, mostly since the opening of the mission? This policy is unnecessary and a conscious and deliberate unauthorized release of classified information which compromises the identities of officers under schedule.” It said this practice is unprofessional as lives of the officers and their families are deliberately put into jeopardy.
The group maintained that the attention of Oladeji has been drawn to the possible consequences of this action by the very senior officers in the agency as well as the Minister of Foreign of Affairs but he refused to budge, always insisting that he is the alpha and omega in the way and manner he wants to gather foreign intelligence and that no one can do anything about it in Nigeria, unless the person goes to the National Assembly and amends the constitution,” the group affirmed.
The petitioners said in the mission, an NIA officer is extremely alienated by this policy and therefore denied the conducive platform within which to operate optimally. NIA officers, according to the group, are openly denied mission’s facilities owing to the autonomy thereby further frustrating and exposing them. “A very big blunder worth mentioning is the release of promotion of only NIA officers sent directly through open sources to all missions as against the age-long practice of mixing it up with Foreign Service Officers to maintain the assumed cover as obtained all over the Foreign Services in the world.
“This singular act has more than anything else exposed all NIA operatives to even the local staff (who are assumed to be spies themselves) since they have access to the list of all our operatives all over the world and are likely to apply it against the legitimate interest of Nigeria and hurt the federal government of Nigeria in a most terrible way. This action of the DG is a clear violation of schedule “B” of the NIA rules and regulations titled “Unauthorized Disclosure of Information” which states inter alia, that an officer violates the regulations.”
The petitioners claimed that officers are brazenly short-changed of their basic allowances in contrast to their colleagues in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs who are on the same grade level. According to the Concerned Officers of National Intelligence Agency, NIA officers fold their hands and watch as they cannot complain as that would amount to gross indiscipline, which is punishable with immediate recall or even dismissal from service.
On performance assessment, the group said since the introduction of a systematic standard of measuring officers’ performance in 1997, productivity at posts increased tremendously.  This was codified for the sake of fairness devoid of favouritism and other “isms”. However, this is completely altered by Oladeji as his personal assessment overrides the agency’s already established standards. According to the group, this has a lot of negative impacts on the NIA.
It said less than 5% of officers collect their quarterly operational funds even if they perform and over 95% are denied these funds, thus forcing them to utilize their basic entitlements, the Foreign Service Alliance (FSA) to conduct agency operations and they would never be refunded. “It is estimated that in the last two (2) years alone, over six million US Dollars ($6m) of officers Operation funds has been withheld and possibly diverted by Oladeji. If you take a very conservative and minimal figure of let’s say $30,000 per officer per year multiplied by two (2) years, it is equal to six (6) million USD ($30,000x100x2yrs =$6m). Officers in this category are easily compromised by hostile elements, particularly that their identity is already known.”
The group said officers who are patriotic enough to resist the temptations of compromising may adopt a survival tactic by lacing their report with falsehood in order to satisfy Oladeji’s requirements. “This is equally dangerous as such reports may mislead the government into taking inappropriate policies or actions that may impact negatively on the nation”, it said.
The petitioners said Oladeji has recalled nineteen (19) officers from post for so called non performance, while majority of those currently at post, if given the chance will definitely like to return home due to the harsh operational conditions and hardships that they are exposed to.
The group affirmed that the current promotion strategies introduced by the DG speaks volumes. “An instance is the last promotion interview from GL 16 to GL 17. Out of fifty (50) officers who sat for the exams, only 14 passed the exams and out of the fourteen that passed 7 are his tribesmen. It is clear on record that three officers among his tribesmen who are confirmed to have failed were promoted. This has generated so much noise from very senior officers that the exercise was devoid of transparency,” the group affirmed.
The Concerned Officers of National Intelligence Agency said as part of the reform programme, Oladeji is working towards privatizing the agency’s health, inspection and security department. “Technically, it means hundreds of well trained security details, doctors, nurses, cleaners and sundry would find themselves back into the labour market.
Currently, the Dolphin edifice is undergoing facelift and this is done with total disregard to extant regulations on contract awards (due process) according to the petition. It said the most disturbing aspect is that a foreign company from Benin Republic where Oladeji served for eight years as ambassador was awarded the contract, thus seriously breaching National Security ethics.
The relationship between the NIA and other collaborative services such as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, State Security Service among others is at the lowest ebb because of Oladeji ego and so called self righteousness according to the petition. “This in effect is denying the needed synergy among the key services to tackle the nation’s serious security and other challenges,” it said.
The group said it acknowledges Oladeji’s contributions in uplifting the status of the NIA at the onset of his administration, but however, believes that his obsession with perfection is gradually negating all his good achievements. It said except the government intervenes and addresses the problem; the NIA for the first time in history may find itself in a court of law for litigations.
“Well trained and disciplined officers and staff who cannot withstand Oladeji’s pressure and onslaught may soon resign en-mass. Already some have sent in their notification to leave,” the petitioners said. It further said officers may adopt acts of defiance and frustrate the DG’s oppressive orders. “This development, if it happens, would breed indiscipline and possibly a breakdown of law and order in the service,” the group said.
Also, the petitioners believe that Oladeji is always in the habit of raising false alarms to silence everybody that their jobs are on the line and all sorts of blackmails, tricks and falsehood. “On Monday 16th of January, 2012 he called a general meeting of all staff and informed us that some retired and serving military officers are trying to take over our jobs and our Building (Headquarters), and that if care is not taken, we shall all be out on the streets without jobs,” it claimed.
The Concerned Officers of the National Intelligence Agency called on President Goodluck Jonathan to ask Oladeji to retire in peace just like his peers elsewhere. “We believe and accept the fact that the president has the absolute right to choose his Security Chiefs anytime, anywhere, but we know for sure that we have better and more capable hands at the NIA. Oladeji has reached the mandatory retirement age on 10th March, 2010; let him retire in peace like his peers elsewhere,” the group suggested.
The petitioners further said it considers a situation where junior officers are retiring and handing over their retirement letters to their seniors, when it should be the other way round as a very unfair and abnormal system. The letter DESERT HERALD NEWSPAPER sent to Oladeji, Director General of the National Intelligence Agency for his comments over the allegation was not responded to and all other efforts to get in touch with him for comments before going to press did not yield fruitful results.

Below is the full text of the highly revealing letter written to President Goodluck Jonathan by the Concerned Officers of National Intelligence Agency (NIA) and exclusively sent to DESERT HERALD by the anonymous officers.

His Excellency,
Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR
President and Commander-In-Chief
Of the Armed Forces of Nigeria,
State House
Abuja.

Sir,
APPEAL FOR GOVERNMENT INTERVENTION AT THE NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY
We are a group of Concerned Officers in the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), who are deeply worried by the current happenings in the Agency and fear that if left unchecked, could lead to devastating consequences on the entire staff of the Agency in particular and the country in general.
2.    While we remain neutral and responsibly objective, we also wish to be as brief as possible without exposing the confidentiality we swore by the oath of secrecy, to protect.
3.    It is instructive to mention that Ambassador Ezekiel Olaniyi Oladeji took over the helms of affairs at the NIA from Ambassador Emmanuel Imohe in September 2009, six months to his mandatory retirement, on the 10th of March 2010. Going by all the three statutory requirements of the civil service, the DG should have retired on the 10th of March 2010. As it is now he is 63 years old, he has worked for 38 years and has been a Director for the past 13 years before he became the DG.
4.    Since becoming the DG, Ambassador Oladeji has introduced a number of reform programmes aimed at repositioning the service to meet  up with the current global security challenges. These reforms are:
A)    Posting Autonomy – As a Director under Ambassador Imohe, he initiated and chaired the committee that decoupled (severe) the Agency’s relation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The concept was for the Agency to establish autonomous financial regime and also improve on the size of officers going out on foreign posting. This has been achieved, but with the following negative results:
i)    Opening of Official Bank Account for the Agency Officers (alone) has drawn the attention of host Intelligence Services in the respective nations, thus blowing the (vital) diplomatic cover that officers need to operate and operate safely, e.g., if an NIA Officer arrives in Addis Ababa or Istanbul today, the Mission sends a request to the Foreign Ministry to open an additional official account, which is normally granted with great difficulty in some countries since they can’t understand the need to open another account beside the existing ones, that have been there for a very long time without any problem (as the case with other Diplomatic Missions all over the world). And when the permission is eventually granted, it will only be used to pay only one person, which is the new officer. Which sensible host Counter-Intelligence service will not know that this person is a `Special Officer’ as all nations always assume that most diplomats are spies? Why did NIA withdraw from the normal process of paying NIA officers all their allowances and entitlements, together with other ministry officials, as obtained universally in the Foreign Service? Why should the Mission open a new account just to pay one or two officers, when the mission have been operating only one official account, mostly since the opening of the mission. This policy is unnecessary and a conscious and deliberate unauthorized release of classified information which compromises the identities of officers, under schedule (contravention of the oath of secrecy).
This practice is unprofessional, as lives of these officers and their families are deliberately placed on danger path. The attention of the DG was drawn to the possible consequences of this action, by very senior officers in the Agency as well as the Honourable Minister of Foreign Affairs, but he refused to budge, always insisting that he is the alpha and omega in the way and manner he wants to gather foreign intelligence and that no one can do anything about it in Nigeria, unless the person go to the National Assembly and amend the constitution.
ii)    In the Mission, an NIA officer is extremely alienated by this policy and therefore denied the conducive platform within which to operate optimally. NIA officers are openly denied missions facilities owing to the autonomy, thereby further frustrating them and exposing them, even the local staff. A very big blunder worth mentioning is the release of promotion of only NIA officers sent directly through open sources to all missions, as against the age-long practice of mixing it up with Foreign Service Officers to maintain the assumed cover as obtained all over the Foreign Service world. This singular Act more than anything else exposed all the NIA operatives to even the local staff (who are assumed to be spies themselves), since they have access to the list of all our operatives (spies) all over the world, and are likely to apply it against the legitimate interest of Nigeria, and hurt the Federal Government of Nigeria in a most terrible way. This action of the DG is a clear violation of schedule “B” of the NIA rules and regulations titled “Unauthorized Disclosure of Information” which states, inter alai, that an officer violates the regulations:
a.    Section 6.18a: If He /She divulges any matter which he has a duty to keep secret;
b.    Section 6.18b: If He/ She, without proper authority communicates with the public, press or an authorized person, any matter connected with NIA;
c.    Section 6.18c: If He/ She, without proper authority, shows to any person outside NIA any classified book or documents which is the property of the government or NIA.
iii) Officers are brazenly short-changed of their basic allowances in contrast to their MFA colleagues on the same grade level. Officers cannot complain as that would amount to gross indiscipline, which is punishable with immediate recall or even dismissal from service.
B. Performance Assessment- Since the introduction of a systematic standard of measuring officers’ performance in 1997, productivity at post increased tremendously. This was codified for the sake of fairness devoid of favouritism and other “isms”. However, this is completely altered by Oladeji as his personal assessment overrides the agency’s already established standards. This also has the following negative effects:
i) Less than 5 percent of officers collect their quarterly operational funds even if they perform and over 95 percent are denied these funds, thus forcing them to utilize their basic entitlements, the Foreign Service Allowance (FSA) to conduct Agency operations, which they would never be refunded. It is estimated that in the last two (2) years alone, over six million United States Dollars ($6m) of officers’ Ops fund, has been withheld and possibly diverted by Amb. Oladeji. If you take a very conservative and minimal figure of let’s say $30,000 per officer per year multiplied by a minimum figure of one hundred officers (the actual number is 116), multiplied by two (2) years, is equal to six (6) million USD ($30,000*100*2yrs=$6m) Officers in this category are compromise by hostile elements, particularly that their identity is already known;
ii) Officers who are patriotic enough to resist the temptations of compromising may adopt a survival tactic by lacing their reports with falsehood in order to satisfy Amb. Oladeji’s requirements. This is equally dangerous as such reports may mislead the government into taking inappropriate policies or actions that may impact negatively on the nation.
iii) Currently Amb. Oladeji has recalled nineteen (19) officers from post for so-called non performance, while majority of those currently at post, if given the chance, will definitely like to return home, due to the harsh operational conditions and hazards that they are exposed to.
C. Promotion- The Current promotion strategies introduced by Amb. Oladeji speaks volumes. An instance is the last promotion interview from GL 16 to 17. Out of fifty (50) officers, who sat for the exams, only 14 passed the exams and out of the fourteen that passed 7 are his tribesmen. It is clearly on record that three officers, among his tribesmen who are confirmed to have failed, were promoted. This has generated so much noise from very senior officers that the exercise was devoid of transparency.
D.Restructuring- As past of the reform programme, the DG is working towards ‘PRIVATIZING’ the Agency’s Health, Inspection and Security Departments. Technically it means hundreds of well trained Security Details, Doctors, Nurses, Cleaners and sundry would find themselves in the labour market.
E. Renovation- Currently the Dolphin edifice is undergoing facelift and this is done with total disregard to extant regulations on contract awards (due Process). However the most disturbing aspects is that a foreign company from Benin Republic (where Amb. Oladeji served for eight (8) years as Ambassador) was awarded the contract, thus seriously breaching National Security ethics.
5. Relation with other services- Relation between the Agency and other collaborative services such as the MFA and DSS is at the lowest ebb, because of Amb. Oladeji’s ego and so-called self righteousness. This in effect is denying the needed synergy among the key services to tackle the nation’s serious security and other challenges.
6. Implications- While we acknowledge Amb. Oladeji’s contribution in uplifting the status of the service at the onset of his administration, we however believe that his obsession with perfection is gradually negating all his good achievements, which many have the following consequences if the Government refuses to interfere:
i) If care is not taken, for the first time in history, the Agency may find itself in court of law for litigations;
ii) Well trained and disciplined Officers and Staffs, who cannot withstand Amb. Oladeji’s pressure and onslaught may soon resign enmass. Already some have sent in their notification to leave;
iii) Officers may adopt acts of defiance and frustrate the DG’s oppressive orders. This development if it happens would breed indiscipline and possibly a breakdown of law and order in the service. The case of Ambassador Nwanna is very fresh in our minds;
iv) Officers may also choose to take advantage of the situation and start leaking vital information on Government personalities to the press in order to blackmail the DG into retirement. He is always raising false alarm to silence everybody that our jobs are on the line and all sorts of blackmails, tricks and falsehood. On Monday 16th of January, 2012 he called a general meeting of all staff and informed us that some retired and serving military officers are trying to take over our jobs and our Building (Headquarters) and that if care is not taken we shall all be out on the streets (without jobs).
8. Suggestions- We wish to suggest the following:
We believe and accept the fact that the President has the absolute right to choose his Security Chiefs any time anywhere, but we know for sure that we have better and more capable hands at the NIA. Amb. Oladeji has reached the mandatory retirement age on 10th March, 2010; let him retire in peace like his peers elsewhere. We consider a situation where junior officers are retiring and handing over their retirement letters to their seniors, when it should be the other way round, as a very unfair and an abnormal system. If these kind of practice continues, when then will the Youth ever be the leaders of tomorrow.

Sir, we count on you to use your good offices to prevent the Dolphin from sinking.

Yours Faithfully,

Concerned Officers
Chief David Bonaventure Mark, GCON,
National Assembly.
-    The Speaker of the House of Representatives,
RT. HON. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, CFR,
National Assembly.
-    Senator Anyim Pius Anyim
Secretary to the Government of the Federation
-    Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd)
National Security Adviser
-    Alhaji Isa Bello Sali
Head of Service of the Federation
-    Chairman Federal Civil Service Commission.
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4 Comments

  1. Kenneth Miracle said:

    If all this is true, don’t you think posting this .has compromised our officers out there. This is the Internet and intelligence are been gathered from. Every angle or means.

  2. Adeleke Babafemi said:

    Nepotism and tribalism has always been our problem. why must we put tribes first in everything we do? even when an agency as critical as NIA is sinking, nobody cares. I am a yoruba by tribe but i believe in merit for God’s sake. Our brother and ambassador, oladeji, must be called to order and reminded that security agencies are not for assisting kinsmen.

  3. Abdullahi Abubakar Adam said:

    NIA it is a house of maturity, A home of dignified people which i believe the above issue will be solve according to the rule of of this Agency. Tribalism is a chisel which the political animal used to bring down the prosperity of the Nation and we will not accept. I HOP THE NIA OFFICER WILL REMAINS NEUTRAL.

  4. Aliyu said:

    Please and please. We should pray for our leaders so that they will serve us beter not always criticizing them, and them(leaders) should fear Allah and work as they knew they will be account for anything done in this world, so for those practising Nepotism and Tribalism they should know we are all decendant of prophet Adam, we are one family so the NIA, SSS, CID, DIA. Should.know that our lives and properties are entrusted into your hand if you resign who will do the job? Any hardship is for a while try and be strong. You guard Allah protect us.

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