FURTHER details have emerged about the increasing meddling of the chief of staff in the presidency Alhaji Abba Kyari in security arrangements across the country with a fresh revelation that he recently commandeered a lucrative police equipment contract.
Earlier this week, national security adviser Retired Major General Babagana Monguno warned Alhaji Kyari to stay clear of all security matters from now on, as his continued meddling is creating insecurity. Although not a constitutional position, the chief of staff to the president has assumed increased importance under President Muhammadu Buhari, with Alhaji Kyari becoming one of the most powerful men in government.
General Monguno has accused Alhaji Kyari, of undue and dangerous interference on matters bordering on national security. He has thus written a memo to all service chiefs asking them to stop taking further directives from Alhaji Kyari, pointing out that his orders are often issued without the knowledge much less approval of the president.
It has now emerged that Abba Kyari has been using his office to secure lucrative security contracts as he recently overrode a directive from the president to procure equipment for the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) from the United Arab Emirates. According to General Monguno, Alhaji Kyari’s actions were reckless and irresponsible and he warned that it was capable of ridiculing Nigeria as an unserious nation before a reliable international partner.
According to General Monguno, only himself, as the head of multiple national security panels and the defence minister have constitutional roles to act on security matters. He disclosed that President Buhari and the crown prince of the United Arab Emirates had agreed in 2016 that the International Golden Group, a Dubai defence and security dealer, would equip the NPF but Alhaji Kyari overruled the decision.
Of late, Nigeria has been grappling with a multiple security problems, most of which experts have said should ordinarily be handled by the police. General Monguno has been at the centre of coordinating efforts to combat insecurity but he added that his work has been repeatedly frustrated by Alhaji Kyari’s meddlesomeness.
This is not the first time Alhaji Kyari has been accused of seeking to use his position to gain material benefit for himself. In 2018, a gentleman known as Bako Waziri Kyari, who claimed to be a nephew to the chief of staff, said that Alhaji Kyari and one Sani Ado, who worked with the Bureau of Public Procurement, collected a N29.9m ($81,791) bribe from him in order to facilitate the award of a contract.
According to Bako, he has not been paid for the contract and subsequently wrote a petition to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) but the agency refused to address it, insisting that it could not investigate the president’s aide. Bako claimed that Alhaji Kyari asked him to pay the money into Mr Ado’s account and he will be given 30% of the value of 15 Hilux buses which he is to supply to the presidency.