A civil society group, "Concerned Nigerians" has dragged President Muhammadu Buhari to the Federal High Court in Abuja over the appointment of his former French translator, Ahmed Rufa’i Abubakar as the substantial Director General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA).
President Buhari had on January 11th, 2018 appointed Abubakar to head the Nigerian apex intelligence agency, an organization saddled with the external security of the country.
Criticisms had trailed the competence of Abubakar having earlier been forced out of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) for allegedly failing two promotion exams.
Mr. Abubakar is the Arabic and French interpreter to President Buhari.
SaharaReporters obtained copies of the originating summons of the suit with number FHC/ABJ/ CS/56/2018 on Friday.
In the details in the suits, Barrister Michael Ukasare and Arinze Solomon Egbo both filed the suits on behalf of the plaintiff, Deji Adeyanju for Concerned Nigerians.
In the summons, President Federal Republic of Nigeria, Ahmed Rufa'i Abubakar (Director General of the National Intelligence Agency) and the Attorney General of the Federation, are to appear as the first, second and third defendants.
The summon was brought under Order 3 Rule 6 and 7 of the Federal High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules 2009, and inherent jurisdiction of this honorable court.
The summon was brought for the determination of the following questions:
1) Whether by the provisions of Section 14(3) of the 1999 Constitution, if the Federal Republic of Nigeria (As amended), the 1st defendant (Buhari) has the power to appoint the 2nd defendant (Abubakar) as director general of the National Intelligence Agency when the director general of the of State Security Services, Lawal Musa Daura, is also from Katsina State.
2) Whether by the provisions of section 2(3) of the National Security Agencies Act, the 2nd defendant (Abubakar) is a fit and proper person to be appointed as director general of the National Intelligence Agency.
The civil society, therefore, sought the following reliefs from the court:
1) A declaration that by the provision of section 14 (3) if the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), the first defendant (Buhari) CANNOT appoint the second defendant (Abubakar) who is from Katsina State, as director general of the NIA, when the director general of the State Security Services, Lawal Daura, is also from Katsina State.
2) A declaration that by the provisions of section 2 (3) of the Security Agencies Act, the second defendant (Abubakar) is NOT a fit and proper person to be appointed as director general of NIA.
3) And Order removing the second defendant (Abubakar) as the director general of the NIA.
4) An order of perpetual injunction restraining the first defendant (Buhari) Whether by himself, his officers, his agents, servants, privies or otherwise howsoever from further appointing the second defendant (Abubakar) as the director general of NIA.
5) And such further or other orders as the honorable court may deem fit to make in the circumstances of this application.
Meanwhile, different sources observed that the appointment of Abubakar as the Chief of the apex security organization of the country is one in the series of appointments that is promoting nepotism and mediocrity instead merit under the present government of President Buhari.
One of the sources that spoke anonymously told Sahara Reporters that some of the members of the intelligence community have viewed the appointment of Abubakar as a breach of “National security”.
He questioned the integrity and the loyalty of the new NIA boss adding that he might also compromise the security of the country because of his citizenship background.
“The new spymaster was born in Chad Republic. He had his primary and secondary education all in Chad. He had a dual citizenship. How can Nigeria entrust its intelligence superstructure to him.
“Apart from that, Abubakar was married to a Moroccan. Where will his loyalty lie now as head of Nigerian apex intelligence body, Will he be loyal to Nigeria, Chad or Morocco? That is our concern” he queried.
A competent security chief that is also conversant with Mr. Abubakar told our correspondent in a telephone interview that the competency of the new NIA boss has been a source of concern.
“This same Abubakar retired from the NIA in year 2013 to avoid being dismissed and as an assistant director in the NIA, he also sat for two promotion examinations during that period and he failed.
“He cleverly retired from the agency after failing the second exams to avoid being dismissed and this was because failure for the third time would have earned him instant termination” he added.
Presidency sources have fingered President Buhari’s nephew, Mamman Daura, Chief of Staff Abba Kyari, and the former Secretary of the Government of the Federation, Babagana Kingibe, erstwhile Director General of National Security Organisation Ambassador Zakari Ibrahim as the main cabal behind the appointment of Mr. Abubakar as the NIA head.
An insider in the presidency explained how Abubakar was brought in by the cabal after brainwashing President Buhari to accept his name against other most qualified candidates for the top security job.
“Interestingly it even was Kingibe, Talban Katsina Zakari Ibrahim, and Horsfall (all former NIA chiefs) were appointed to review the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo’s report Osborne Towers scandal where $43million belonging to the NIA was found.
“These same people who are working in cohorts with the cabal also recommended his (Abubakar) name against more qualified and less politically exposed officers such as the most senior director in the agency Ambassador Dauda, who was the acting DG of the NIA after Ayo Oke was booted out.
“The cabal wanted someone that can do their bidding. The acting DG was considered too rigid to be confirmed as the substantive head and that was why Abubakar was appointed.
“In fact, it was not surprising that another $44 million was removed to an unknown destination the very day the new DG was appointed,” the source said.
He further expressed concerns that the new NIA boss is from Buhari’s home state of Katsina just like his counterpart in the Department of State Services (DSS), Lawal Daura.
“So, the concentration of security chiefs in the north and Katsina in particular, speaks volumes and portray the Buhari government as ethnic and clannish.
“And despite the concentration of heads of security, military and paramilitary agencies in the north, problems of herdsmen killings and kidnappings for ransom, remain unchecked”.
“This development is really portraying the Buhari government as insensitive to the ethno-religious makeup of the country. Some of the appointments concentrated in northern Nigeria are:
“Almost all the security, military and paramilitary heads are northerners yet they fail to stop herdsmen killings of innocent Nigerians.”
“This development is portraying the Buhari administration as ethnic, religious and clannish. These appointments are all from the north and they are all Muslims. That is what it means,” the source said.
A complete analysis of appointments of the security top chiefs by the President to the following sensitive security appointments shows all of them are from the northern parts of the country, a situation that violates the federal character principle.
Some of the appointments concentrated in northern Nigeria are:
1. Chief of Army Staff, General Tukur Buratai, Borno State
2. Chief of Air Staff Abubakar Sadiq, Bauchi State
3. Director General of DSS, Lawal Daura, Katsina State
4. Director General of NIA, Rufa’i Abubakar, Katsina State
5. Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, Niger State
6. Commandant General of Civil Defence Corp, Abdullahi Muhammad, Niger State
7. Comptroller General of Immigration, Muhammed Babandede, Jigawa State
8. Comptroller General of Prison Services, Ja’faru Ahmed, Kebbi State
9. Comptroller General of Customs, Hameed Ali, Bauchi
10. Minister of Defence, Mansur DanAli, Zamfara State
11. Minister of Internal Affairs, AbdulRahman Dambazau, Kano State
12. Chairman of EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, Borno State
13. National Security Adviser, Muhammed Monguno, Borno State
14. Chief of Defence Intelligence Agency, Muhammad Usman, Kano State.