By Soni Daniel, Northern Region Editor; Clifford Ndujihe & Dirisu Yakubu
•APC has no hand in it—Oshiomhole
•We’ve been vindicated — PDP
•Buhari yet to query Daura, act on IGP’s report on incident
ABUJA—THE last has not been heard of the sacked Director-General of the Department of State Services, DSS, Lawal Daura, as it was learned, yesterday, that the deployment of DSS operatives to lay siege to the National Assembly, recently, which led to Daura’s removal, was a collective one.
A close associate of the spymaster, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said Daura was neither given a query over any issue nor indicted on his handling of affairs of the service until his sack.
According to the associate, Daura insisted that he took all actions in national interest through a collective responsibility, including involvement of principal officers of sister agencies, even though he promised not to disclose on whose authority he relied on to lay siege to the National Assembly.
Daura’s houses searched
The source further said: “Daura’s houses in Asokoro and Gwarimpa were thoroughly searched in the night and nothing incriminating was found, and all items found, including necklace, praying mat, CDs, ATM cards, women’s bags, documents and receipts have been duly returned to him accordingly.”
The source stated that when Daura was invited by the Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo for the security briefing, he quickly rushed out and left some of his personal belongings, including phones, in the office.
He noted that when the spymaster was whisked away and eventually sacked, he did not know his offence.
The source disclosed that Daura felt demoralized after being tagged a mole of opposition elements for laying a siege to the National Assembly.
“Daura has been completely demoralized by widespread insinuations of working for the opposition when he took daring moves to protect the Presidency and the ruling party against the antics of the powerful opposition elements. The allegation of being a mole is utter balderdash.
“Spymasters all over the world can be sacrificed but not to the extent of rubbishing their integrity and reputation on the altar of political considerations, especially a spymaster created by the same system, considering the delicate and sensitive nature of intelligence services,’’ the source said.
The source said the new development contradicted the report submitted by Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris, that Lawal Daura confessed that he deployed hooded operatives of the secret service to the National Assembly complex based on intelligence reports that unauthorized persons were planning to smuggle dangerous weapons and incriminating items into the Federal Legislative complex.
The said confession was disclosed in an alleged interim investigation report submitted to the Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo.
In the report, the IGP averred that Daura carried out the siege to the National Assembly without the approval of the Acting President.
“The former Director-General, Department of State Security Services, DSS, Lawal Daura, acted unilaterally, without informing the Presidency. He did not share or intimate other security agencies on the unlawful operations,” Idris said in the report.
No plan to recall Daura
Meanwhile, Vanguard learned, yesterday, that contrary to claims in certain quarters that President Muhammadu Buhari was under immense pressure to recall Daura, the President appears to have no such interest in reinstating him.
Top sources close to the Presidency told Vanguard that Buhari had not even called for the interim report, which Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, wrote on the controversial invasion of the National Assembly by masked DSS operatives on the day the lawmakers were to meet to consider the budget for the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
The source said: “The President appears not to be interested in revisiting Daura’s sack by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo because from what we have seen, he has not even called for the file since he returned from London.
“Similarly, the President has not countered what the VP did, which is an indication that he stands by what Osinbajo did. His attitude seems to be that the law should take its course in the matter and that is what the situation is as at today.’’
The President’s disposition runs counter to claims in the media, last week, that he was set to reinstate Daura, following pressure from powerful presidential men and others from Daura, Buhari’s home town.
There were insinuations that Buhari would upon return from the UK, counter Osinbajo’s sack of Daura, who was seen as the President’s man by recalling him with immediate effect.
But this has not happened more than a week after his return to the country.
It will be recalled that in the interim report submitted by the IGP to VP Osinbajo, Daura was said to have acted alone in deploying heavily armed hooded DSS operatives to block the National Assembly, thereby stalling the consideration of INEC’s budget two weeks ago.
The IGP claimed in the report handed over to Osinbajo that he was unaware of the decision by Daura to flood the NASS with security men and, therefore, did not mobilise his men for the infamous operation, which has attracted local and international condemnation.
But yesterday, PRNigeria, a firm that runs Public Relations for security agencies in Nigeria, reported that Daura had hinted that the NASS invasion was borne out of a ‘collective decision’ by sister security agencies but he was not specific.
The Presidency is suspicious that Daura was acting the script of the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, a suggestion that Saraki has vehemently repudiated, describing the allegation as untenable.
The latest development elicited reactions from the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole.
APC leadership has no hand init – Oshiomhole
Speaking on the issue, Mr Simon Ebegbulem, Special Adviser (Media) to Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, said the ruling party leadership had no hand in the DSS siege to the National Assembly.
His words: “The National Chairman has no business with it. He is not involved in the affairs of the DSS or any other security outfit. If he (Daura) says the decision was collective, maybe in the hierarchy of the DSS and not the APC leadership.’’
We’re vindicated – PDP
However, the PDP said Daura’s revelation was a vindication of its stand on the matter.
National Publicity Secretary of the party, Kola Ologbondiyan, in a chat with Vanguard, said Nigerians have now realized the need to vote out the APC-led government in 2019.
“Nigerians will recall that we said the sack of Daura was to make him the fall guy. Now, we have been vindicated. It is unfortunate that people who cannot tally figures and sequence events are the ones claiming to be governing our nation. Unfortunately, they have brought the nation down to her knees. There is no doubt that Nigerians must prepare to rescue our nation in 2019 by voting in the PDP,” he said.