LAWAL Musa Daura, a native of Daura in Katsina State is the current Director General of the Directorate of State Security Serrvice, DSS, an organisation he had retired from before President Muhammadu Buhari who is also from Daura recalled him in 2015.
His appointment was greeted with loud murmurings not only because he is a kinsman of the President but because he was also accused of being an operative of the All Progressives Congress, APC, having served on its security committee during the last elections.
Here are four things to know about Daura:
1. He’s 65 years old
Daura was born on August 5, 1953, in Daura, in Katsina State, the same place as President Muhammadu Buhari.
2. He’s an alumnus of ABU Zaria
Daura received a bachelor’s degree from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria in 1980.
3. Joined the DSS 36 years ago
He joined the DSS in 1982.
4. He was appointed DG in 2015
President Buhari brought Daura out of retirement and appointed him to replace the dismissed Ita Ekpeyong as DSS DG in 2015.
Lawal Daura is now out of the State Security Service, but his ruthless exploits are unlikely to be forgotten by Nigerians for the foreseeable future.
A native of Daura, Katsina State, who graduated from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Mr Daura joined the SSS in 1982. In 2003, he was appointed Deputy Director Presidential Communication, Command and Control Centre at the Presidential Villa, a position he held till 2007, according to his Wikipedia profile.
He served as the deputy head of security for the Buhari campaign during the 2015 elections, serving under Interior Minister Abdulrahman Dambazau. He had left the SSS circa 2013 after turning 60. He was, however, recalled from retirement by Mr Buhari after winning the 2015 elections, defying concerns that it was inappropriate for a president to appoint someone from his home town in a multi-ethnic, multi-religious entity like Nigeria.
For human rights groups and proponents of the rule of law, Mr Daura’s eventual dismissal, although widely linked to Tuesday’s gambit at the National Assembly, was not condign enough a punishment for the string of reckless deployments of state resources that characterised his slightly over three-year reign at the secret police.
A dreaded state agent who did not flinch from the label, Mr Daura infamously etched his footprints on virtually all the fabrics of a modern constitutional republic, taking on hapless citizens, media practitioners, state and federal legislators and even Supreme Court judges. Many done without any shred of evidence or with confession obtained under duress or with links so thin they turned out worthless in the court of law.
Having been previously retired from service, his announcement to the position by President Muhammadu Buhari in July 2015 elicited divergent feedback from Nigerians. While some viewed the appointment with suspicion, supporters of Mr Buhari said Mr Daura was unjustly eased out of the SSS by former President Goodluck Jonathan, and praised the president for giving him another chance.
But the choices of Mr Daura, who turned 65 over the weekend, since he was appointed on July 2, 2015, have further revealed his person. As debates over his sack and whereabouts continue, here is a recap of the spy chief’s short but controversial career in law enforcement administration since 2015:
Gestapo Assault On Judiciary
In an overnight operation on October 7 and 8, 2016, Mr Daura ordered the SSS personnel to invade the homes of senior judges across the country. The action, arguably the most controversial and highly consequential of Mr Daura’s many actions, ended in the arrest of seven judges, including two of the Supreme Court.
Amidst mixed reactions from Nigerians, the presidency came in defence of Mr Daura, justifying the raid as an attack on corruption and not against the judiciary as being widely peddled. The Attorney-General Abubakar Malami also justified the raids, saying they were legal and that the SSS had its facts before moving against the judges.