Nigeria’s acting President Yemi Osinbajo has sacked the controversial Director-General of Department of State Services, DSS, Lawal Daura, in a dramatic twist to the unconstitutional siege on the National Assembly on Tuesday by DSS and police operatives.
Osinbajo’s spokesman, Laolu Akande, disclosed Daura’s sacking Teusday afternoon on his Twitter handle, @akandeoj.
He wrote, “AgP Yemi Osinbajo has directed the termination of the appointment of the DG of the DSS, Mr. Lawal Musa Daura.”
The DSS and the Police sealed the National Assembly on a day the Senate leadership had scheduled a meeting.
It was alleged that the move was to falicitate the impeachment of Senate President, Bukola Saraki and his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu by APC senators, loyal to president Muhammadu Buhari.
Lawmakers who came for the meeting were denied entry into the Assembly by the security operatives.
The invasion of the democratic institution of the National Assembly by DSS operatives was widely condemned by Nigerians on Social Media.
Daura’s tenure as DSS DG has been mired in controversy, due to human rights abuses, disrespect for court orders and as citizens were held for years without trial.
Former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki has been in DSS custody since December 2015 despite multiple court orders for his release.
A Bayelsa journalist, Jones Abiri was also detained for more than two years by the DSS under Daura.
There was a general belief among Nigerians that Nigeria’s democracy was under threat with Daura as DSS DG.
Mr. Daura had retired from the service before he was recalled on July 2, 2015 by President Muhammadu Buhari to head the organisation.
However, rather than appoint a new director general from some of the highly qualified officers of the organisation, Mr. Buhari chose his kinsman, Mr. Daura – a move many Nigerians saw as nepotism.
Mr. Daura, 65, from Daura, Katsina State, retired from the SSS in 2013, having reached the statutory retirement age of 60.
President Buhari is also from Daura in Katsina state.
The sack of his kinsmen comes at a time the president is in the United Kingdom on medical vacation.
Mr. Daura has been directed to hand over to the most senior officer of the State Security Service until further notice.
It is understood that acting President Osinbajo had before the sack, summoned the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris and the Director-General of the Department of State Security, Malam Lawan Daura at the Presidential Villa, Abuja to explain the drama at the National Assembly.
The Inspector-General of Police was the first to arrive at about 12.35 p.m. before the arrival of the DSS Director General at about 1.15 p.m.
CHECKPOINTCHARLEY had reported that the police Tuesday morning sealed the main gate of the National Assembly, blocking lawmakers and staff from gaining access into the complex.
It later turned out that they were acting in concert with DSS operatives.
Lawmakers were however later allowed access into the complex, while journalists and other staff were barred.