$43M: Tension In NIA as High-Level Succession Battle Rocks Agency

  • Oke’s Deputies Fight Dirty, Move to Subvert NIA Service Rules

By The New Diplomat intelligence Desk

Following obvious indications that suspended Director-General(DG) of the National Intelligence Agency(NIA), Ambassador Ayo Oke may be sacked from office going by the report of the Prof Yemi Osinbajo-led committee which investigated the shocking discovery of $43.4m at Apartment 7B Osborne Towers, Ikoyi and the alleged N200m contract scam allegedly involving Global Vision Limited, a firm reportedly linked to Suspended Secretary to Government of the Federation(SGF), Babachir David Lawal, tension and intense power tussle have enveloped the NIA following plots to subvert the agency’s operational service rules by Oke’s two Deputies, who are said to desperately scheming to replace their suspended boss on substantive basis.

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The two Deputy Director Generals (DDG) in questions are Mr. Arap Yadam from Plateau State (DDG-Administration) and Mr. Emmanuel Okafor from Anambra State (DDG-Operations).

Mr Okafor was formerly in New York as Head of Peace-building Desk at the United Nations(UN) mission until he was deployed to NIA Headquarters while, Mr. Yadam was in Angola until he was promoted to the position of DDG (Operations), with an internal memo which allegedly originated from the Office of the then National Security Adviser (NSA) Col. Sambo Dasuki currently facing charges of corrupt diversion of public funds-technically naming DDG Yadam’s office (DDG-Administration) as higher in seniority than DDG (Operations), Okafor’s Office. This development, which occurred during the Dr Goodluck Jonathan’s administration was perceived in diplomatic circles then as an aberration but was quietly manage to douse tension.

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Presidency sources confided in The New Diplomat that “that Ambassador Oke would be fired and asked to go home over his alleged involvement in the $43.3m funds which could not be rationalized or explained in concrete terms by Ambassador Oke as regards the exact operational mission the funds was meant for, is just a matter of time”.

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The New Diplomat investigations in Abuja, however, reveal that this has opened a window for high-stake power tussle between the two Deputy Director-Generals(DDGs) at the NIA over who would be named as to take over from the suspended DG.

But insiders in the nation’s intelligence community and the Presidency told The New Diplomat in Abuja that “appointing any of the two Deputy Directors-General(DDGs) would amount to a gross violation of the NIA operational and administrative Laws and service rules because the rules setting up the Agency clearly states that should the DG of the NIA be sacked or relieved of his position in any circumstance, his two Deputies-DDGs must automatically go with the DG. It is a standard rule and not a matter of presidential discretion.

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“The Law and service rule was put there in the NIA Rules to ensure that the two DDGs-Deputy Director General (Operations) and Deputy Director General (Administration) do not individually or collectively work to undermine the DG. That is to ensure that they work collectively for the success of the DG so as to prevent a situation where the two DDGs can gang-up against a serving DG to ensure he or she fails and is accordingly relieved of his/her job.”

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Highly placed Presidency officials confided in The New Diplomat that “the two DDGs would just have to go with Amb. Oke because not only are they also believed to be culpable because the $43m funds in question involves both administrative and operational dimensions, the rules of the NIA service will have to apply here: the rules and the law says “should the DG of NIA go in any circumstance, his two DDGs must go with him.” So what some politicians are currently doing to try to lobby and subvert the rules and the laws of the NIA to make sure either Yadam or Okafor becomes the next DG of NIA is untenable. We recognize the fact that if that happens, this administration would be technically destroying the NIA and politicizing the very professional external intelligence of our country. ”

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Another source in the Acting President’s Office added: “There is no way the two DDGs can say they are not aware or culpable. Who posted the officer to that Osborne Apartment? Is that not an administrative issue? Then how was the funds moved there in the name of operations in the first instance? In any case, the rules of the service will be carefully studied and made to apply here in appointing a successor. The NIA is not like customs or any other agency, where the DG is appointed from outside. It is from within the NIA service that Oke’s successor will come from certainly.”

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It would be recalled that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had swooped into the Osborne Towers which originally belonged to Alhaji Adamu Mua’zu and discovered $43m in a flat said to belong to the wife (Folashade) of the suspended DG of NIA, Amb Ayo Oke.

Meanwhile, it was gathered that Mr. Arab Yadam, the DDG (administration) is already due for retirement, having completed his service years.

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