Greetings great people of this great nation, my lords we have come to the People’s Court with a contentious question; but it is important to lay down the background precisely to help our understanding of the question. There has been wireworks in the polity following the rejection of the EFCC boss, Ibrahim Magu by the Senate on two occasions based on a report by the DSS, which is under the president, and yet Mr President is insisting on Magu. Yet again, we have just been told that massive amount of money totalling about 13 billion naira has been discovered in an Ikoyi apartment, by the EFCC, but reportedly it emerged that the funds belonged to the NIA, and that the EFCC was pleaded with not to publicise the money but instead it rebuffed the NIA boss; the question is this, Are these sings of independence or an indictment of lack of coordination between the security agencies.
Read the opinion of our analysts as they take up the issues;
Yes it is
I do propose that the apparent manner in which the agencies function is a hallmark of independence. This is the foundation of democracy, and we should celebrate it.
To begin with, security is a very sensitive issue and it is important that all security agencies should function in an independent way to ensure that the security of the nation is guaranteed. This will ensure that all the security agencies stick to their mandate.
It is an assurance that the security agencies are insulated from political interference and machinations. President Buhari has shown high democratic and political maturity to allow the security agencies function without political interference. This is the only explanation for the DSS blocking the appointment of Magu.
It would ensure checks and balances. This is obvious as the security agencies will act as a check on each other ensuring that, when one of the agencies, as happened with the NIA is engaged in rogue transactions, the other can step in.
Very importantly, the agencies are independent in their operations, and this is desirable to ensure that when one is compromised, the other can be saved. If they are subject to permutations and overbearing oversight, the compromise of one will equally compromise the others.
My lords, I have set out above my arguments, and am quite certain you can agree with me that the apparent ‘miscommunication’ between the agencies is not lack of coordination but desirable independence.
No, it is not
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My lords, our people would always say that it is easy to break a single broom but much more difficult, and even impossible to break a bunch of brooms. Therefore, our security can only be enhanced, not when one agency works alone, but when they all work in synergy and coordination. Information sharing and intel is the foundation of modern day security against sinister forces. Any argument that therefore purports to say that the apparent disharmony, lack of communication and synergy between the security operatives will enhance security is dead on arrival.
My lords, the question is , does the apparent lack of communication between agencies under President Buhari indicate lack of coordination or is it a sign of independence? The point has been belaboured that it is a sign of independence, but that is like calling a Greek gift the best present ever. The confusion stems from a misconception of what independence entails. Independence does not entail conflict, opposition and communication breakdown between security agencies, but rather non-interference in roles and duties. Independence does not mean that the agencies should not work in harmony. Absence of synergy is dangerous to security, as intel and information are unnecessarily withheld, and animosity erupts between sister agencies, as with DSS and EFCC currently.
How can an intelligence agency not be in constant rapport with the EFCC giving it intel on corrupt people and their activities? If there is such rapport, then how can we believe that the EFCC rebuffed the NIA chairman, and went ahead to publish the recovered ‘loot’? This makes it undoubtedly obvious that there is no such coordination.
How can DSS write to the Senate to impugn the integrity of a presidential nominee, when it is expected that the president must have done his own background checks, and ought to have sought the advice and clearance of the nominee by his intelligence agencies? If the president did not seek clearance from DSS before nominating appointees, then the president was only courting embarrassment, as happened with Magu; and there is therefore no such coordination. If he sought such clearance, then how come the DSS opposed Magu? That is impossible. It is evident that there is no such coordination and synergy.
My lords, the crucible of the case is not that it is not desirable for these agencies to be independent, but that their independence should not affect their synergy; when therefore security agencies start opposing each other, the synergy and coordination have either broken down or is lacking. I move my lords to concur with my submissions.