By Daniel Idonor
ABUJA â€” PRESIDENT Umaru Yarâ€™Adua has ordered a full scale investigation into the alleged role played by the sacked Director-General of the Nigerian Intelligence Agency, NIA, Mr Enaruna Emmanuel Imohe, in the issuance of a Federal Government circular currently making the round in Nigeriaâ€™s missions abroad that no mission should entertain any inquiry from the duo of former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai and former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu.
Beside the sack of the NIA DG, President Yarâ€™Adua through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has directed all Nigerian missions abroad to disregard the earlier directive mandating such missions not to render any consular assistance to the embattled duo.
Also, the President has directed Nigeriaâ€™s former Ambassador to Benin Republic, Oladeji Olaniyi, who is the most senior in rank to the outgoing DG to assume duty as the acting Director-General of the NIA immediately.
A circular exclusively obtained by Vanguard, dated October 13, 2009 with file no. MSO. II/53, from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to all foreign missions, said â€œthe Federal Government has directed that the content of Tel. s.111 dated September 17, 2009 should be reversed. Consequently, any request for re-issuance of passport or any consular assistance to the former FCT Minister, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai and former EFCC Chairman, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, should be entertained.â€
According to the circular signed by the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Bagudu Hirse, â€œfor the avoidance of doubt, the said directive had no authority of Mr President who has ordered an investigation into the matter.
Furthermore, the Federal Government has reiterated that all Nigerian missions should give requisite consular assistance to any Nigerian, repeat, any Nigerian that requests for such assistance in any Nigerian mission abroad in line with the avowed commitment of the present administration to democracy and the rule of lawâ€.
It further stated that â€œIndeed, it is the inalienable right of every Nigerian to seek and be granted a Nigerian standard passport as enshrined in the Nigerian Constitutionâ€.
It also advised â€œall heads of mission should ensure immediate and strict complianceâ€.
Imohe, was removed from his position, due to what industry watchers termed haphazard handling of a sensitive national matter.
According to our source in the Presidency, the removed NIA boss, who reportedly got approval from all necessary security authorities, including the office of the National Security Adviser to send a memo to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs instructing the nationâ€™s missions abroad not to provide consular services to the duo of el-Rufai and Ribadu was said to have allowed the said memo to leak.
â€œHe should have couched such sensitive instructions in ciphers so that even if it falls into unsuspecting hands, they would not understand its contents,â€ our source said.
It was also alleged that his sack may not be unconnected with the fact that the NIA did not provide the needed intelligence on the international connection of the Boko Haram sect, which instigated violence and bloodshed in some states in northern Nigeria recently.
Accordingly, Imohe who was appointed by former President Olusegun Obasanjo has been directed to hand over to the next in rank, Ambassador Olaniyi, who is currently on a 2-week course in the United States.
Ambassador Olaniyi is to head the NIA in an acting capacity, since he is also billed to retire from the service in January 2010.