The changes at the Department of State Services (DSS), Nigeria’s secret police, entered another phase during the week with new postings and a series of reversals. Marilyn Ogar, who was until recently DSS deputy director, public relations, has been transferred to Maiduguri, Borno state, but the posting has now been put on hold following insinuations that it was “punitive”. Ogar, as spokesperson, was responsible for defending the activities of the agency in the media and she is believed to be paying for some of her pronouncements, notably in the face-off with the Bring Back Our Girls movement and the DSS raids on the Lagos office of the All Progressives Congress (APC) last year. She has already lost her promotion following the nullification of the recent exercise. “Right now, she is just hanging around in Abuja awaiting the next order,”
President Muhammadu Buhari recently appointed Lawal Musa Daura as the acting DSS director-general following the resignation of Ita Ekpenyong, who was reportedly asked to go because of the “partisanship” of the agency under former President Goodluck Jonathan.
About 45 new state directors who were promoted under Jonathan have lost their new ranks as their promotions have been reversed. Buhari refused to swear them in last Thursday, an indication that the promotion exercise had been annulled. Daura has also ordered the sack of fresh graduates who were recently employed after an eight-month training. Daura has been mandated to probe the tenure of his predecessor. An official from the office of the secretary to the government of the federation (SGF) has been penciled down to do the job.
The official, from Katsina state, is expected to be appointed as the new director of finance, taking over from an operative from Plateau state who was only appointed recently. “Daura’s mandate is to probe Ekpenyong, but it is not looking bright because some of the allegations being examined are difficult to prove. It has now been established that the raids on APC office in Lagos were based on a tip-off by an APC member. This has complicated matters,” the source added. DSS had raided the office on the allegation that the voters’ biometric cards were being illegally produced there, a move that generated public outrage. The agency did not charge any suspect to court. Some top DSS operatives, meanwhile, are beginning to question the capacity of the new DG to pilot the affairs of the agency. “Daura was informed about the attack in Kano way before it happened. He refused to release money or approve the operations until bombs went off in three states. “His records show that he was at the very bottom of his class, and during his service years, his file was filled with a lot of queries that should ordinarily disqualify him from the job. There are a lot of competent northern officers who can lead the DSS. Daura is not one of them.” The reorganisation exercise is expected to continue as new governments usually fill strategic positions at the agency with loyalists.