National Assembly invasion: Osinbajo sacks DSS DG, Daura, replaces him with Seiyefa

By Editor on 08/08/2018

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Daura
Daura

 The Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, on Tuesday sacked the Director-General of the Department of State Services, Lawal Daura.

A top government official confirmed to our correspondent on condition of anonymity that Daura was “handed over to law enforcement agents” immediately after his appointment was terminated.

The former DSS boss was in the Presidential Villa when his removal was announced.

“Yes, he was immediately handed over to law enforcement agencies. You know that for somebody that held such an office, he needed to be debriefed and all that,” the source said.

Another source confirmed that Daura was driven out of the premises in a Hilux van belonging to the Nigeria Police Force.

Our correspondent reports that reporters who laid ambush outside for him saw his convoy leaving the premises without him.

It was gathered that the VP was highly embarrassed by the invasion.

The sack letter it was gathered was prepared even before Daura arrived. It was handed over to him by Osinbajo’s aides, as the VP refused to meet with him.

It was also gathered that President Muhammadu Buhari had been complaining of Daura’s antics and would have removed him about two weeks ago but was stopped by some of his aides.

The sack of the DSS boss followed early Tuesday morning siege to the National Assembly by armed and masked operatives of the department.

Osinbajo’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mr Laolu Akande, announced the firing of Daura in a statement made available to journalists.

He said the Acting President had directed Daura to hand over to the most senior officer in the service.

The statement reads, “The Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, has directed the termination of the appointment of the Director-General, Department of State Services, Lawal Musa Daura, with immediate effect.

“Mr Daura has been directed to hand over to the most senior officer of the State Security Service until further notice.”

The siege by the DSS, which began as early as 6am caught most employees of the National Assembly unawares as cleaners, bankers, reporters and others who had business to transact within the complex were prevented from entering the premises.

The security officials used an unmarked white Coaster bus and two black Hilux pickups to block the main gate leading to the National Assembly.

Not long after, Senators Abiodun Olujimi (PDP, Ekiti,) Ben Murray Bruce (PDP, Bayelsa) and Rafiu Ibrahim (PDP, Kwara) arrived at the scene. They approached the gate but the masked DSS officers also prevented them from entering.

Few minutes later, a female member of the House of Representatives, Boma Goodhead (PDP, Rivers) arrived and insisted on entering the premises.

When the armed men stood in her way, she approached the operatives menacingly and shouted at them.

She shouted, “I dare you to shoot, shoot me. How can you come here and be embarrassing us?

“Was this what Jonathan did to Buhari? You are all a disgrace.”

Following her protest, she was allowed to enter the premises at 8am. She was soon followed by some legislators but the DSS operatives prevented members of the National Assembly staff and journalists from entering.

In the statement that announced the sacking of Daura, Osinbajo was also quoted as describing the action of the security operatives as a gross violation of constitutional order, stressing that the development was not authorised by the Presidency.

He declared that all persons who participated in the siege would be identified and made to face appropriate disciplinary action.

The statement reads further, “Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, has described the unauthorised takeover of the National Assembly complex earlier today as a gross violation of constitutional order, rule of law and all acceptable notions of law and order.

“According to him, the unlawful act which was done without the knowledge of the Presidency is condemnable and completely unacceptable.

“By this statement, Prof. Osinbajo is consequently assuring Nigerians that all persons within the law enforcement apparatus who participated in this travesty will be identified and subjected to appropriate disciplinary action.”

Following the removal of Daura, the Vice-President, also on Tuesday, met behind closed doors with the most senior Director in the DSS, Matthew Seiyefa.

The meeting was held inside Osinbajo’s office at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Osinbajo had, while terminating the appointment of Lawal Daura as the Director-General of the DSS, asked him to hand over to the most senior official in the agency.

Seiyefa, from Bayelsa State, arrived at the Presidential Villa in an official Sports Utility Vehicle at about 4pm.

He was seen clutching an office file as he made his way into Osinbajo’s office.

Shortly after his arrival, the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu, also arrived.

Magu, however, left before Seiyefa.

He left at about 4.40pm without talking to State House correspondents.

Siege scuttles N’Assembly leaders meeting

The blockade led to the abrupt cancellation of the meeting of principal officers of the National Assembly scheduled for Tuesday.

The Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Yusuf Lasun, announced the cancellation in an interview with journalists outside the National Assembly.

He explained that the meeting was no longer feasible with the tense atmosphere at the National Assembly.

Lasun said, “A meeting cannot be held under this kind of atmosphere. It is unfortunate that this is happening because when the parliament is under siege, democracy is under siege.”

The deputy speaker arrived at the National Assembly a few minutes to 12pm; the time fixed for the meeting and met the DSS officers at the National Assembly gate.

They allowed him and his convoy drive into the building but he soon drove out after a brief meeting with members of the House of Representatives and senators who earlier entered the premises.

He told reporters that although his aides had informed him about the siege, he chose to come for the meeting but soon realized that it was no longer feasible.

The deputy speaker also said he was in touch with the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, his Deputy, Ike Ekweremadu; and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, among others.

Posted 08/08/2018 06:33:40 AM

 

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