EFCC ARRESTS DSS DIRECTOR OF FINANCE WITH LINKS TO FORMER DG, LAWAN DAURA

Anti-corruption operatives in Abuja are currently grilling the Assistant Director of Finance at the country’s secret police agency otherwise known as the SSS, Kunle Kadri, for alleged fraud and mismanagement, inside sources at the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) have told PREMIUM TIMES.

Mr Kadri, an accountant and a financial manager, was whisked from his home Tuesday in handcuffs and is currently detained at the cells of the Idiagbon House headquarters of the EFCC in Abuja.

The EFCC is not officially speaking on Mr Kadri’s investigation but usually reliable inside voices hinted on Wednesday of “alarming holes and loose nets” that are invariably destined to end at the gatehouse of the former director general of the SSS, Lawal Daura, who was dismissed from service last year when he sent ninja-like, gun-toting, masked men to the National Assembly to try take over the parliament and achieve the purpose of the executive branch of the government.

Mr Daura, now with a fully operational office on Lake Chad Street in the sedate Maitama district of the federal capital, is curiously enjoying what appears to be a status makeover and is widely perceived to be back in an enhanced freelance service and consultancy for the administration which is currently battling a difficult re-election bid.

Mr Kadri is a noted ally and confidant of Mr Daura and is suspected to be still in active dialogue with him “so much as to describe it as a fiduciary relationship,” according to PREMIUM TIMES sources.

Detectives at the EFCC say they believe Mr Kadri will help provide some sunshine around the brewing controversy on the N10.2 billion supplementary budget that the SSS received, in part, for its elections operations.

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The supplementary election budget was proposed while Mr Daura headed the SSS but was released after his exit and during the tenure of the current head of the agency, Yusuf Bichi.

“We think he is already making helpful statements for now and since he has worked with the past three directors-general of the service, there is no better person to offer a literate interpretation of some of the barbed edges in the accounting process at the agency,” a PREMIUM TIMES source remarked.

Neither EFCC operatives nor SSS officials have so far offered any official suggestions of a Daura dimension to the N10.2 billion controversy; but the SSS on Tuesdaycuriously crossed communication lines by issuing a tough warning to the public to desist from engaging its former director-general, Mr Daura, on its behalf. The SSS claimed that it has been inundated with insinuations that Mr Daura still wields influence in its internal affairs, months after he was fired from office.

“While the Service debunks this false belief, it warns that any person or group that further engages him or his representatives/associates does so at their own peril,” SSS spokesperson Peter Afunanya said in a statement.

“The Service will not tolerate acts of impersonation designed to undermine it and will decisively deal with person(s), no matter how highly placed, that may engage in such behaviour,” Mr Afunanya’s statement stressed.

Although the SSS offered no specifics on whether or not it was in possession of credible complaints about questionable deals involving Mr Daura and unsuspecting persons prior to its statement, the arrest and questioning of his finance director hours after the SSS statement has heightened suspicion of a veiled correspondence between Mr Daura’s future in retirement and Mr Kadri’s new status as suspect.

When contacted on Thursday, the SSS spokesperson, Mr Afunanya said he was not aware of Mr Kadri’s arrest and would get back when he gets more information. EFCC spokesperson Tony Orilade did not pick or return calls to his phone.

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