PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari’s Chief Security Officer, Abdulrahman Mani, has revoked the order by the Aide-De-Camp to the President, Lt.-Col. Lawal Abubakar, removing operatives of the Department of State Services from giving Buhari close body protection.
Mani, in a memo countermanding the ADC’s order, said the DSS operatives should disregard the directive by Abubakar. He said the order was a misrepresentation of Buhari’s directive.
Buhari’s ADC had on Wednesday last week issued a memo redeploying the DSS officials from 10 beats that they had hitherto manned inside the Presidential villa, explaining that the decision to strip the DSS officials of their traditional roles was part of efforts to enhance general security within the villa.
He also claimed that the development was necessitated by “recent events,” which he did not disclose.
The ADC consequently directed personnel of the Armed Forces and the Nigeria Police to take over the DSS officials’ duties of providing “close/immediate protection” for the President with immediate effect.
But in a June 26, 2015, memo by the CSO, a copy of which was obtained by our correspondent on Sunday, Mani directed the DSS officials to disregard the ADC’s order, saying the duties being performed by the DSS personnel in the Presidential villa were backed by relevant statutes and gazetted instruments.
These roles, he added, included close body protection of the President in line with standard operational procedures and international best practices.
He cited Section 2(I )(ii) of Instrument No.SSS 1 of May 23, 1999 made pursuant to Section 6 of the National Security Agencies Decree of 1986, which has been re-enacted as Section 6 of NSA Act CAP N74 LFN 2004.
He said the law empowered personnel of the DSS to provide protective security for designated principal government functionaries.
The functionaries, he said, included but not limited to the President and Vice President as well as members of their immediate families.
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