BAD BIRTHDAY FOR THE SECRET SERVICE BOSS

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    Segun James reports that the sack of the Director General of the Directorate of State Security, Mr. Lawal Daura, follows a catalogue of illegal actions perpetrated recorded against him

    August is usually a memorable month for Mr. Lawal Daura. It is his his birth month. Normally, he should still be receiving belated birthday courtesies from friends and acquaintances, but four days after his August 3 birthday, his shinning day suddenly became dark, as he was fired from his exalted position as the Director General of the Department of State Security (DSS).

    Instead of being in an extended jolly good mood, a pall of gloom has been cast on Daura’s household.

    When the federal government announced the sack of the Director General of the DSS, Mr. Lawal Daura, it made it plain that it was because he ordered the invasion of the National Assembly Complex without any authorisation. The federal government in its statement condemned the action which it said is not in conformity with democratic tenets which is hinged on the separation of powers among the three tiers of government.

    Given recent happenings in the polity, the federal government may have decided to make the high ranking Daura a scapegoat. With his sacking, President Muhammadu Buhari and his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) are beginning to look like true democrats.

    Truth be told, the invasion of the National Assembly and the prevention of lawmakers and others from entering the complex was done without permission of the Acting President. This nearly passed as another trampling on the personality and office of Osinbajo by officials thought to be close to President Buhari, who have constituted themselves into cabal around the President. Lawal Daura was one of the principals of the group. They routinely undermined the office of the Vice President.

    That was the situation when on Tuesday morning, security operatives barred some lawmakers, newsmen and staff of the National Assembly from entering the National Assembly complex. The security operatives barricaded entrance to the complex very early. The men from the DSS gave no reason for their action.

    But barely three hours after the invasion, the Acting President announced the sack of the Director General of the DSS. The sack came via a terse tweeter statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media, Mr. Laolu Akande: “The Acting President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo has directed the termination of the appointment of the DG of the DSS, Mr. Lawal Musa Daura,” the statement reads, adding that “Mr. Daura has been directed to hand over to the most senior officer of the State Security Service until further notice.” We hear that, Daura was arrested and placed under house arrest.

    The clear reason for Daura’s sack was revealed when the Presidency in another statement denounced the invasion of the National Assembly Complex, saying it was inconsistent with the tenets of democracy and separation of powers.

    But what may have been the reason for the immediate sack of Daura by the acting President barely three hours after the invasion? The presidency hinted on this when it said that it was not informed nor was there approval for the action of the DSS.

    It could not be ruled out that the Acting President may have informed the President who is on a 10 vacation in the United Kingdom of the events that took place at the National Assembly complex, however, the President must also have given his deputy broad powers that, as the Acting President, he was free to do what he thought best in the circumstance.

    Acting on such assurances, Osinbajo must have taken the decision to sack Daura who is from the same community as the President immediately.

    If nothing, Osinbajo by his action may have sent signals to others who have been undermining his office and castigating his person that he will surely use his powers if and when necessary.

    Like most officials close to Buhari, Daura, did not pay due courtesies to the office of the Vice President in the last three years, particularly anytime Osinbajo had to act for the president. At such times, Daura and his cohorts did all in their powers to frustrate him. But not surprisingly, the President reposts so much confidence in his deputy. The sack of Daura who was previously believed to be an untouchable is a pointer to Buhari confidence in the decision of his deputy.

    It would be recalled that soon after the coming of President Buhari into office, Lawal Daura, Mr. Mamman Daura, the influential nephew of President Muhammadu Buhari, and Mr. Abba Kyari, Chief of Staff to President Buhari, secretly began working on a plan to have Mr. Ibrahim Magu, acting Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), redeployed back to the Nigeria Police Force. The appointment of Magu was announced while Vice President Yemi Osinbajo was Acting President.

    The surreptitious move of the three men was not with the knowledge of President Buhari, who was not willing to replace Mr. Magu. The President was said to be unconvinced by the negative DSS report on Magu’s integrity. However, the President’s nephew, the DSS boss and Mr. Kyari were said to be exploiting President Buhari’s brittle health to replace Magu. But Osinbajo stood solidly by Magu. The scheming against the Vice President began in earnest afterwards.

    “They are capitalising on Buhari’s failing health to execute their project of getting Magu out because he has refused to be considering their advisory role in carrying out his job.

    “The DSS boss was behind all the reports against Magu. Behind him are Maman Daura and Abba Kyari. They have failed to convince President Buhari that Mr. Magu has integrity issues.” So the acting president must have relished the sacking of Daura even as events continue to unfold in the polity.

    Lawal Musa Daura was born on the August 5, 1953 in Daura, a town in Katsina State, Northern Nigeria. He was the Director General of the Department of State Securityfrom July 2, 2015 until August 7, 2018, when his appointment was terminated by Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo. He was appointed following the dismissal of Mr. Ita Ekpeyong in July 2015 by President Buhari.

    He received a bachelor’s degree from Ahmadu Bello University in 1980 and also trained at the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru, Nigeria. Daura began his career in 1982 at the State Security Service where he rose to the position of director. In 2003, he was appointed, Deputy Director Presidential Communication, Command and Control Centre at the Presidential Villa, a position he held till 2007. On July 2, 2015, he was appointed Director General of the State Security Service before his appointment was unceremoniously terminated the acting President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo.