Masked DSS operatives early Tuesday morning prevented lawmakers from accessing the National Assembly for several hours.
The widespread media attention and outrage from Nigerians, as well as attempts by furious lawmakers to break into the premises, forced the security agents to grant access to the parliament.
Limitedly, the access was only granted to serving lawmakers. All other members of staff at the National Assembly, as well as journalists and other independent observers, were denied entry.
The siege lasted until late afternoon when DSS operatives stood down after receiving reports that Acting President Yemi Osinbajo did not authorize the deployment and had fired the director-general, Lawal Daura, as a consequence.
Presidential sources have disclosed events that led to Daura’s removal. Quoted by PT, the sources disclosed that Osinbajo communicated his action to his principal, President Muhammadu Buhari before going public with the announcement but this was after the DSS boss was placed as a suspected mole in the security agency.
Although his activities suggest Daura was taking directives from Buhari, who appointed him, he is lately been suspected to be working to paint the government as anti-democratic.
“When the siege began, the acting president quickly went to action and was able to gather preliminary information of what was going on after which he invited some of the security chiefs concerned for a briefing,” one of the sources said.
Those invited include the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, who said the siege came as a surprise to him and the former DSS DG, Mr. Daura, who is reportedly arrested even though his whereabouts at the moment remained unknown.
“When Lawal Daura came in, the acting president asked him who cleared him to order operatives to lay siege on the National Assembly; and his response was ‘shocking’.
“He simply said it’s within his powers and that he is only answerable to the President and Commander-in-Chief who appointed him,” the source said.
After his response, Osinbajo immediately told his media aide, Laolu Akande, to immediately issue a statement announcing the sack of Daura.
“The acting president also asked the National Security Adviser to hand over the sacked DG to the police for further investigation,” the source added.
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