The Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) has dismissed claims that the director-general of the Nigerian Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ahmed Rufai, failed promotion examinations into directorship rank.
In a statement by its spokesperson Zakari Usman, the ONSA also noted that the appointment and tenure of Mr Rufai was the exclusive prerogative of President Muhammadu Buhari.
“Contrary to these false claims Ambassador Abubakar never failed a promotion exam and has consistently been an outstanding officer,” Mr Usman said.
“To set the record straight, by the provisions of the Instrument establishing the Agency under the National Security Agencies Act 1986 ( Cap 278 LFN), the appointment and tenure of the Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency is the exclusive prerogative of the President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces.”
In a letter written to Mr Buhari on December 16, verified to be authentic by Peoples Gazette, NIA directors disputed Mr Abubakar’s appointment. They also protested against his reappointment, stating that he failed promotional examinations three times before being compulsorily retired.
The directors said the president flouted the National Security Agencies Act, which specified that the NIA DG should be appointed on the advice of the national security adviser.
The spy chiefs said Babagana Monguno, the current NSA, had told the National Assembly that he was not aware of Mr Abubakar’s appointment when the president authorised it in 2018.
But Mr Usman said “the appointment of the Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency was made in full compliance with the relevant law.
“Reported speculations by the unnamed former directors that the National Security Adviser had told the National Assembly that he was unaware of the Director General’s appointment in 2018 is false.”
He noted that a Federal High Court presided over by Justice Okon Abang already dismissed a suit challenging the appointment of Mr Rufai.
“The general public and indeed all stakeholders in the Security and Intelligence sector are advised to disregard the unfortunate falsehood being peddled by these shadowy groups.
“Furthermore, groups and individuals who use pseudonyms to issue false claims are cautioned against violating the secrecy upon which the Intelligence Community functions. Appropriate action is being taken to unmask them and bring them to justice,” he added.
He further said that the intelligence community was pleased with Mr Rufai since his appointment in 2018 and satisfied with his achievements.