SSS fires Buhari’s former CSO, 49 others

The State Security Service, SSS, has fired Abdulrahman Mani, the former Chief Security Officer (CSO) to President Muhammadu Buhari.

Mr. Mani was sacked Thursday alongside 49 other personnel, among them, the former spokesperson of the service, Marilyn Ogar.

The officials were compulsorily retired from the service.

Security sources said while Ms. Ogar was retired from service for alleged corruption and involvement in partisan activities, Mr. Mani, a deputy director, was sacked for failure to report to duty.

Mr. Mani was promoted as a deputy director during the transition period, as he was appointed the CSO to President Muhammadu Buhari.

The former CSO soon stepped into the spotlight in the early days of Mr. Buhari’s presidency as he and the president’s ADC, Mohammed Abubakar, clashed over the deployment of military personnel to take charge of the inner security of the president.

On June 28, PREMIUM TIMES reported that Mr. Abubakar, a Lieutenant Colonel, had barred SSS personnel from locations inside the state house, saying in a memo that personnel of the armed forces and the police, trained as presidential body guards, were to “provide close/immediate protection for Mr. President henceforth”.

Mr. Abubakar also said SSS operatives should steer clear of areas such as “Admin Reception, Service Chiefs Gate, Residence Reception, Rear Resident, Resident Gate, Office Reception, C-In-C Control Office, ACADE Gate, C-IN-C Control Gate and Panama”.

“However, the personnel of the DSS in conjunction with other security forces are to man other duty beats/locations located within the immediate outer perimeter of the Presidential Villa,” he said, without providing reasons for the action,” the memo said.

The arrangement did not go down well with the former CSO as he replied in a June 26 letter, rejecting the directive and giving a counter directive, asking his colleagues to disregard Mr. Abubakar’s circular.

The travails of the former CSO began when Mr. Buhari, during the altercation, appointed Lawal Daura as the acting Director General of the SSS. Sources in the service said relations between Mr. Daura and Mr. Mani, both from Katsina State, had been fractious.

Mr. Mani was promptly posted to Bayelsa State Command of the service – a move seen by observers as punitive.

Mr. Daura allegedly convinced the president that in view of the complexity of managing his security, a higher-ranking officer of the rank of a Director was needed to be the CSO.

One source said Mr. Buhari later ordered the Mr. Mani’s posting be reversed as it became clearer the decision was punitive.

Mr. Mani was re-posted to the presidential villa as the president’s Chief Detail – a designation that is second in command to the CSO.

Dissatisfied with the arrangement, Mr. Mani refused to report to duty, the reason given by the SSS for his retirement, our sources said.

The spokesperson for the SSS, Tony Opuiyo, could not be reached for comments.


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