Idris Ahmed, in this piece written before the appointment of the current DSS boss, Lawal Daura, delves into the rot in the department and why stakeholders insist on repositioning corrupt outfit
After sixteen dark years in Nigeria’s history during which Nigerians witnessed the worst manifestations of corruption, tyranny, impunity, poverty, deprivation, insecurity, genocide, and occupation, a historic change has come about. For the first time, Nigerians put aside political, religious, tribal, and other selfish considerations and voted in the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Besides the calamitous level of grandeur theft, poverty, and insecurity that was deliberately inflicted on Nigerians, one of the worst things to have happened to Nigeria during the Goodluck Ebele Jonathan (GEJ)-led administration was the criminal politicisation of the military, security, and law enforcement agencies based on religious and tribal lines.
Aside from destroying the once-glorious organisation, the politicisation of the military has lead to the destruction of infrastructure, lives and property through Boko Haram insurgency – the type Nigeria has never seen in its 100-year history. It was the politicisation of the military that led to allocation of whopping 25% of Nigeria’s budget to defence; yet, there was no tangible return on the investment. The military generals were busy plundering significant amount of money allocated to defence, at the same time criminally abdicating from their duties of providing adequate funding for military equipment, training for rank and file of personnel, and paying salaries and allowances on time.
Worse still, it could have been the same military generals that connived to provide financial, military, and logistics support to the Boko Haram insurgents. If this had not been the case, how does one explain the incapacity of supposedly the mightiest military in Africa to defeat a ragtag bunch of marauding barbarians?
Upon assumption of the APC government, most Nigerians expected to see the immediate dismissal of all the military service chiefs, including the DG of DSS and the so-called national security adviser. Furthermore, Nigerians expected military officers from the ranks of colonels to generals to be thoroughly investigated for treachery, grandeur theft, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. Those found guilty should have been accorded proper legal protection, but also swiftly tried, dismissed, and punished according to the provisions of the law.
While the APC administration has already taken steps to deal with the military, albeit in a slow pace to the chagrin of most Nigerians. Nigerians trust the judgment President Muhammadu Buhari. The politicisation of the DSS by the GEJ administration has been deadly equally on the security of Nigeria and Nigerians. As things stand today, the DSS is operating as a fully-funded and armed private mafia organisation whose loyalty and sympathy squarely lies with the defunct GEJ administration, and not with President Buhari.
The DSS failed to furnish the presidency with the list of personnel who will constitute the presidential security detail. This was to grant the presidency enough time to screen the officers before they arrive at the Villa. All the service chiefs immediately complied, except Mr Ita Ekpeyong. Instead of complying with the presidential directive, the D G posted 253 of his selected henchmen to the presidency on Wednesday 10/06/2015 without approval. The reason for his non-compliance is best known to him.
If the DG is not prepared to take instructions from the commander-in-chief, then he is definitely not fit for the purpose. Similarly, one Widi Liman, who worked as one of the 3 PAs to the DG, has been strategically positioned as the administration officer at the presidency. This is a wholly unacceptable arrangement, as the risk factor is great.
This is not the first time that this DG has shown disdain for professional works ethics and standards in order to further his ambition of supporting GEJ’s dangerous political agenda for Nigeria. In August 2012, while acting with impunity, the same DG masterminded the unethical and shameful redeployment of 50 DSS officers of northern origin out of the presidency. Ten officers from the south-west and seven from the south-east were also redeployed. They were immediately replaced by carefully-selected DSS officers from Niger Delta.
As though filling up the DSS with his henchmen and women is not bad enough, the current DG operates the DSS like a terror organisation much worse than Boko Haram. Nigerians know where they stand with Boko Haram. Everybody knows that they are a blood-sucking Satanic organisation hired as mercenaries to cause death and destruction in northern Nigeria. People either take evasive actions to save their lives or confront them with full force where feasible. Unfortunately, such is not the case with the DSS.
People mistake them for a genuine government security agency whose job among others is to provide counter-insurgency intelligence and protect lives and property. Instead of providing intelligence the DSS under GEJ undermined democracy by rigging elections. They provided material and logistics support to Boko Haram, and destroyed human life and property through targeted killings.
Outlined below are some but not all of the treasonous offences committed by state directors and other senior officers of the DSS under GEJ administration.
In September 2014, the Australian peace negotiator, Reverend Canon Dr Stephen Davis, who was appointed by the GEJ administration, made a startling allegation that the former chief of army staff, Lieutenant General Onyabor Azubuike Ihejirika, and the former governor of Borno state, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, were complicit in the Boko Haram insurgency. Considering the severity of the allegation, and the level of destruction, a swift and thorough investigation is what would have ensued if the DSS were an internal security agency worth its ounce of salt. Without conducting any investigation whatsoever, and without any regard for due process of law, within 24 hours of that allegation being made public, Marilyn Ogar went on national television to lambast Dr Stephen Davis for “blackmailing” two “innocent” gentlemen. She went further to exonerate Lieutenant Gen Ihejirika and Senator Sheriff of any wrongdoing.
Towards the end of 2014, with total impunity, Marilyn Ogar made several libelous statements on national television which are completely unbecoming of her position as the spokesperson of Nigeria’s internal security agency. On one occasion, without substantiating her allegation, she alleged that the APC was a terrorist organisation. On another occasion, she alleged that the APC had offered her “substantial” bribe but she declined to collect it. The same Ms Ogar is linked to several multi-million corruption scandals that she has failed to refute. Even the #BringbackOurGirls campaign organisation was not safe from Marilyn Ogar’s treachery.
Abdulganiyu O. Daudu
The assistant director for internal security (ADIS), heu, in flagrant violation of his position as a national security officer, organised the production of a video campaign jingle designed to damage the good image of His Excellency just before the presidential election. This jingle was aired several weeks on many television networks supported by the GEJ administration.
Without a legal warrant and any warning, on Saturday 22/11/2014, a team of armed mobile police and DSS officers invaded the APC secretariat on Acme Road, Ikeja, Lagos. Computers and communication equipment worth millions were destroyed. 28 staff working at the APC IT data centre were unlawfully arrested. This illegal operation was also masterminded by Daudu, according to the leaked DSS document sent to CUPS.
On Tuesday 31/03/2015, while appearing live on national and global television broadcast, the former minister of Niger Delta affairs, elder Godsday Orubebe disrupted the announcement of the presidential election results. He falsely accused the INEC chairman, Professor Attahiru Jega, of being “tribalistic, selective, and partial”. This embarrassing shenanigan would not have happened were it not for the fact that Mary Otubu, the DSS director at INEC, deliberately withdrew her protection officers for Jega on that day. She has since been posted as director, State Service Academy (SSA), in Lagos for her efforts.
During the March 2015 general elections, DSS staff were deployed throughout the 36 states of the federation, including Abuja, to help with rigging of the elections in favour of the PDP. Some officers obliged, few declined to participate. All of those who participated were handsomely rewarded by illegal promotions. Over 300 officers were promoted for their loyalty to the PDP. According to the leaked document, this illegal promotion exercise was supervised by the DSS director of finance and administration, Felix Ikumakpayi. Ikumakpayi has since been promoted to the position of director of economic intelligence for his efforts.
The DSS staff who cooperated in helping to rig the elections in favour of the PDP were promoted to the rank of officers. Those officers who refused to participate in the illicit activities were transferred to less favourable locations across the country. The illicit promotion of over 100 staff, and the illicit transfer of officers who declined to cooperate was coordinated by assistant director on personnel management, Angela Oleseni, who has since been promoted.
Computer and telephone hacking is at the core of the DSS illicit operations against innocent Nigerians both at home and in diaspora. Principal staff officer (PSO) in charge of communications intelligence (COMINT), Wasiu Agbaje is tasked with the job of hacking into Your Excellency’s mobile telephone communications. He configured the DG’s laptop to be able to hack into your mobile phones even if the DG is out of office. The DG could access the DSS network remotely using a secure link. This allows him to operate as though he is in the office. For his excellent hacking work, Agbaje was promoted twice in 2010, and also got promoted after GEJ had lost the presidential election.
Since 2010, when the current DG assumed office, hundreds or even thousands of innocent Nigerians were executed through extra-judicial killings by the DSS. These illegal killings were coordinated by the assistant director in charge of special threats and tactics team, Ben Nwafor.
Under the guise of Counter-terrorism Investigation Department, the PSO tactical, Philips Master, masterminded the extra-judicial execution of innocent Nigerians, including the Apo killings of keke napep operators in Abuja in September 2013. As a cover-up, the DSS connived with the military to label the victims as members of Boko Haram. According to the leaked document, he too has been reward with promotions.
Captain Sagir Kooli, an intelligence officer of the Nigerian army serving at the 32 artillery brigade, Akure, leaked a video showing how the August 2014 governorship election in Ekiti was rigged by the PDP with the help of police, DSS, and the army. The shipment of rigged election materials from Abuja to Ekiti was coordinated by DSS officer Doyin Adetuberu. Prior to the presidential election, a significant false and damaging amount of documentary programs was produced and passed over to the AIT network for broadcasting. This was coordinated and deployed by Adetuberu who worked as a member of the deadly team used by the former governor of Ogun state, Benga Daniel, before assuming his position as the PSO to Marlyn Ogar. This officer has since been promoted to the presidency as the security officer for the vice president, Professor Yemi Osinbajo.
Following the victory of Your Excellency at the presidential polls, the DSS recruited the services of an Israeli company to plant a comprehensive covert surveillance and spying infrastructure at the Villa with the intention of spying on your government. This treasonous job was coordinated by the former PA to the DG, Widi Liman, who is now your administration officer.
In order to perpetuate the Boko Haram scam, the DSS took some high-profile Boko Haram members from their detention centre in Abuja to Balmo/Darazo forest in Bauchi state and created a new fictitious Boko Haram splinter group called Ansarul Musilimina Fi Biladis Sudan. The DSS provided them with money, arms, ammunition, and logistics support. This treasonous operation was coordinated by the former DSS director in Bauchi state, Tosin Ajayi. Following the defeat of GEJ, he has since been transferred to Enugu as the state director after spending over five years in Bauchi as director.
The DSS has been instrumental in undermining the Nigerian military’s capacity to eliminate the Boko Haram insurgency. They connived with the military’s highest command to sabotage the ordinary soldiers and their commanders fighting Boko Haram. This callous act of treason was effectively achieved in Borno state where Ahmed Abdullahi has been the DSS director for over five years. Following the defeat of GEJ, he has since been transferred to Abuja as the director of security enforcement. He was also promoted to the rank of substantive director.
Since the current DG assumed office in 2010, the DSS has been releasing bogus libelous information to the public domain that Your Excellency has held meetings with Boko Haram leaders in Kaduna. This conspiracy to tarnish your image was carefully coordinated by the Kaduna state director, Abayomi Zamba. Zamba also played a significant role in undermining your chances of winning the 2011 presidential election, which resulted in riots and loss of human life in Kaduna state. After five years in Kaduna, Zamba was transferred to Niger state to cover his tracks, and was promoted as a substantive director.
One of the state directors closest to the DG is Larry Obiagwu. He was in charge of Niger state for over five years where he aided in the rigging of elections in favour of the PDP. Following the defeat of GEJ, he was promoted and got transferred to Kaduna to help undermine Governor Nasir El-Rufai.
During the 2011 presidential elections campaign, a wicked and criminal attempt was made to endanger Your Excellency’s life in Kebbi by pouring tonnes of sand at the airstrip, which stopped your plane from landing. This dangerous clandestine operation was supervised by Ibrahim Katsina, who has been the director for Kebbi state for over five years. Following the defeat of GEJ, he was promoted and got transferred to Bauchi state.
On 28th November, 2014, a triple bomb blast occured at the Kano central masjid that targeted the emir of Kano, HRH Muhammadu Sanusi II. More than 200 innocent people lost their lives in that carnage. According to the leaked document, the Kano state DSS director, Bassey Eteng, who served in the state for more than five years, was responsible for masterminding the carnage. To cover up for his heinous crimes, after GEJ lost the election, he was promoted to a substantive director and was transferred to Abuja as director of operations.
His Excellency’s telephones have always been bugged by the DSS. This became escalated to include top APC officials across the country. In the meantime, the DSS halted the telephone bugging of all Boko Haram suspects and kidnappers. Following the defeat of GEJ at the polls, the assistant director of communications intelligence, Markson Obede, managed to secure the services of the Israeli intelligence agency (MOSSAD) to install additional bugging devices at the Villa to spy on Your Excellency.
He was the director of operations at the DSS headquarters in Abuja for over five years. He was the mastermind and coordinator of all the DSS intrigues. He was, and still remains, the DG’s most trusted confidant and was the brain behind all of his policies and atrocities. He was supposed to retire in 2014, but the DG retained him so as to mobilise resources to help GEJ win the 2015 presidential elections. Following the defeat of GEJ at the polls, he is still being retained as special assistant to the DG on contract basis. There is special directive made by the DG that all operational files should be passed to Nkemdirim.
The chief security officer to GEJ was Gordon Obua. He is one of those officers who believed that stealing is not corruption. During his tenure in office, he claimed two separate vouchers to pay DSS staff at the presidency. During the last general elections, GEJ ordered the payment of N300 million to DSS personnel in line with what was paid to the military personnel. The ADC (military) paid his personnel their full dues, while the DSS were paid half their due by Obua. When GEJ got a gist of this grandeur theft, he ordered the CSO to return the rest of the unpaid money. Gordon paid back only N70m and pocketed the rest. He hired a USA company to install sensitive equipment at the Villa at the cost of 12,968,427.83 euro. He collected this sum from the NNPC. It is also alleged that he might have collected the same sum from the FCDA. He however never paid the USA contractor a single euro. Thanks to his grandeur thieving ways, the CSO has since become a powerful businessman. He now owns Forte oil petrol station opposite the Transcorp Hotel in Abuja, which he bought for N1.5 billion. He also owns expensive estates around the country.
If the recruitment policy, retention, promotion, and management style of the current DSS Nigeria DG is to create a mafia-like army full of religious and tribal bigots and saboteurs, then himself and his corrupt organisation have no place in the new Nigeria that we worked so hard to salvage from the hands of the defunct GEJ regime.
Millions of Nigerians who put aside their traditional rivalries to vote Buhari into office did so with the great hope that, for once in their lifetime, they will enjoy the privileges of a fully-functioning country. Nobody voted for impunity. Following your inauguration, there is a significant goodwill towards you from both within and outside of the country. This goodwill is likely to quickly evaporate if the president is deemed to be too soft on criminals of whatever description.
Following President Buhari’s successful outing at the recent AU summit in South Africa, whre he heard from your fellow heads of state why fixing Nigeria has become obligatory not only for the sake of this generation of Nigerians, but for the sake of every African and indeed every black person living on the planet. Nigeria has the capacity to become one of the greatest countries on earth, and a beacon of hope for Africa and developing nations alike. The natural and human resources needed to realise this dream are abundantly and readily available on ground. What is needed is strong leadership, vision, and the political will to achieve it.
Ahmed is president and founder of CUPS (Citizens United for Peace and Security). He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.