Fresh facts have emerged showing that Mr.  Rufai Abubakar, the new Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), was found guilty of sexual misconduct for which he almost lost his job at the United Nations.  According to a colleague, who met Mr. Abubakar in 2005 while serving with the African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS), Mr. Abubakar’s service records are blighted by various acts misconduct.

In 2012, said the former colleague, a case of sexual exploitation was established against Mr. when he impregnated one Miss Blanche Munah Hyde, a Sierra Leonean and staff of the Political Affairs Department of United Nations African Union Hybrid Operations in Darfur (UNAMID) in Darfur, which AMIS transmuted to after it was taken over by the UN.

The Sierra Leonean was eventually delivered of a baby girl. Mr. Abubakar, said the source, accepted responsibility for the baby as well as made a promise to marry the mother. According to the source, he was on the verge of being sacked from his UN job but was saved by the intervention of Mr. Babagana Kingibe, the then Head of AMIS; and Mr. Zakari Ibrahim.

Mr. Abubakar was said to have been brought by Mr. Kingibe to head the Political Affairs Department. He was said to have been disliked by Nigerian military officers and their civilian counterparts, who served with him on the peacekeeping mission in Darfur.

Ahmed Rufa'i

“Ambassador Babagana Kingibe was the Head of Mission and Ambassador Hassan Gibril of the Gambia was the Deputy Head of Mission. The Field Commander (FC) at that time, Major General Luke Aprezi, is also a Nigerian. Mr. Kingibe came with Mr. Abubakar,” said the source.

Mr. Kingibe revealed the source, maintained a home in Addis Ababa, capital of Ethiopia, and worked from a guest house in Khartoum, the Sudanese capital.

Before the scandal with the Sierra Leonean woman, Mr. Abubakar, the source said, had had an affair Achiatou Muhammadu from the Niger Republic, who was Deputy Joint Special Representative (DJSR).

The source disclosed that it was the DJSR, who facilitated his promotion his promotion to D2 (an equivalent of Deputy Director) at the time he was about leaving the employ of the UN. This was done, explained the source, to ensure that he would be entitled to pensions from the UN. Achiatou was subsequently appointed the JSR of the UN Mission in Cote d'Ivoire about the same time Mr. Abubakar was leaving UNAMID. She, again, facilitated another UN job him as a consultant with the UN in Senegal.

 “Consultancy service in the UN system is limited by time. He remained a consultant in Senegal for two years before the job was terminated in August 2015. Consultants in the UN system, like anywhere else, are not entitled to certain benefits, including pension, enjoyed by permanent staff. However, Mr. Abubakar was already pensionable having worked with UNAMID for more than five years,” said the source. 

Mr. Abubakar, the source added, was a P5 officer, the equivalent of an Assistant Director, and got all the benefits that accompany the status of a permanent staff. This led to the belief that he was a staff of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“He was there until 2013 when he attained the mandatory retirement age of 62. He was a P5 officer all along and at no time did he attain the rank of a D2 officer. Rather, he was granted that at the tail end of his stay in UNAMID, as a parting gift,” disclosed the source.

He explained that given that Mr. Abubakar was indeed a permanent staff of the NIA, he should never have accepted a permanent job with the UN without resigning from NIA. The source said the NIA D-G clearly kept two jobs, as he only resigned from the NIA in 2013, the same year he left UNAMID.

Narrating how Mr. Abubakar got the UN job, the source said it began from the last quarter of 2005, when Mr. Kingibe stopped being Head of AMIS and was replaced by Mrs. Monique Mukaruliza of Rwanda in an acting capacity until 31 December 2007, when the UN took over from AMIS.

Following the take-over, AMIS transmuted to United Nations African Union Hybrid Operations in Darfur (UNAMID).

Mr. Rudulph Adada, a Congolese, took over from Mrs. Mukaruliza as the Joint Special Representative (JSR) of the UN Secretary-General, who was also replaced by Nigeria’s Professor Ibrahim Gambari. Nigeria’s General Martin Luther Agwai (retd.) was appointed Field Commander.

The transmutation from AMIS to UNAMID, said the source, imposed challenges. Aside from troops and police officers from different countries, he said, AMIS civilian staff were not automatically absorbed into the UN system. “The UN maintains its own policies and processes for staff recruitment. Due to the dearth of civilian staff coupled with the refusal of UN staff in other missions to relocate to Darfur out of fear, a window of opportunity was created for fresh recruitment,” explained the source.

 At this time, Mr. Abubakar, who was in shuttling between Addis Ababa and Khartoum, relocated to Darfur and applied and secured a job as Political Affairs Officer on the rank of P4. Two other Nigerian military officers, Lieutenants Colonels OZ Azinta and Augustine Agundu (now Major-Generals at the Defence Headquarters, who shared the same office with Mr. Abubakar, also applied and secured jobs as Political Affairs Officers on the rank of P4.

Following the completion of the orientation programme at the UN training school in Brindisi, Northern Italy, Azinta and Agundu declined the UN job offer. They both departed Darfur at the end of their tour of duty.

The former colleague maintained that in addition to Mr. Abubakar’s questionable citizenship and failure of promotion examinations, his inappropriate relationships with women make him unsuitable for the Director-Generalship of the NIA.  

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