President Tinubu Daring Moves Appoints DCG Adeniyi   Acting CG, Customs;   DIG Egbetokun Acting IGP;  And New Service Chiefs

By Stephen Ubanna

 For much of last week and now, there have been rumours making the rounds that there would be a major shake up in the nation’s security architecture. The rumour became pronounced with the appointment of Nuhu Ribadu, an a retired Assistant Inspector General of Police, and former Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, as the National Security Adviser, NSA.

  True to the fears making the rounds that the Lagos state born Nigerian President has approved the retirement of Hameed Ali, a retired Army Colonel and Comptroller General of Nigerian Customs Service, NCS and Usman Alkali Baba, the IGP, including the service Chiefs including the service Chiefs.

The Nigerian President may have made up his mind on what to do but never gave the impression to the security and Intelligence Chiefs when he met with them on June 1, 023, barely two days after his inauguration as President and Commander –In-Chief of the Nigerian Armed Service.  He was said to have kept it a closely guided secret why shopping for their replacement.  

Adeniyi: Acting CG Customs

 On Monday, June 19, 2023, what has been a closely guided secret over the last two weeks was let of the bag to the surprise to many.    Wale Adeniyi, who was confirmed by the Board of the NCS, under the Chairmanship of Hajia Zainab Ahmed,  the immediate past minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning last May  as a Deputy Comptroller General of Customs, in charge of Strategic Research and Policy Department,    was named   as a replacement  for Hameed Ali, a retired Army Colonel and Comptroller General of Customs.

Many knew that DCG Adeniyi may likely be the successor of Ali, the Customs boss during the Commissioning of the N19.6 billion naira office complex of the service at Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, FCT. He was moreor less the cynosure of the event because of his prominent role as the Chairman of the Organising Committee for the Commissioning of the multi-billion naira project that was said to have been started by the Late Dikoo’s Administration.

 He may have won the heart of Ali, the immediate past Customs Comptroller General of the NCS, given his Administrative skills in handling the event which gave people people the impression that he is the heir apparent the Bauchi state born Customs helmsman.

Given his role as the Chairman of the Customs office Complex Organising Committee,   Adeniyi, who has been appointed as the acting Comptroller General of the NCS,  had made Nigerians to know that the Customs Headquarters building which has become a reality  was started by Late Dikko,  in 2007 following  the need  to build a befitting  office  complex  for the service as a revenue  generating agency, was conceived in  2002, by Aliyu Mustapha , a year before his retirement , as  the Comptroller General of NCS.     

Adeniyi, the current acting Comptroller General of Customs had said that the need for more space in view  of the capacity  of the service  also informed  the construction  of the building. An elated Adeniyi, had said that the Customs Headquarters’ building, having undergone redesigning and remodeling b eventually was completed by Ali, the former Comptroller General.

 Given his insider knowledge on the bulding of the office complex,   he had said that the Customs multi-billion office complex project faced some challenges that had threatened its completion in the life of Ali’s Administration ranging from variations, and adjustments in the model of the building.

   Until his appointment by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, as the new Customs boss Adeniyi, who had spent much of his years in the service in the public Relations Unit starting from the Area Command level to become the Customs National Public Relations Officer had established himself as an Administrator, par excellence.

While many of his squad mates were busy lobbying to become Area Controllers, Adeniyi, remained at the Customs Headquarters, in the Public Relations Department, doing everything within his powers to turn the Unit to be one of the best among all the Para-military security agencies in the country.  He got right ,that the Unit became the envy of the day till date.

He was able to groom a successor, retired Joseph Attah, who was said to have continued from where he stopped and rose to the enviable rank of Comptroller, and was deployed to Kebbi Command where he was said to have made an appreciable impact.

Recall that even as the Area Comptroller of Murtala Muhammed International Airport, MMIA, ICommand,  Ikeja, Lagos, where he was promoted to promoted to the rank of AN Assistant Comptroller General, ACG,   in 2020, which qualifies to be a member of the Management Team, Adeniyi, had established himself as a performer.   His elevation to the enviable rank of ACG, in February 2020, by Ali, the former Customs boss, may have fueled the Customs officer in him shortly after to make a seizure of $8.65 million   to wind out his stay at the airport.

 The $8.065 million at the MMIA, was said to have been celebrated in Customs circles both within and outside the country. The money was said to have been intercepted in a bus belonging to the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company, NAHCO,at the airport tarmac when it was to be loaded  into an aircraft.

Ali, the retired Customs helmsman, who could not hide his feelings had told Nigerians that   the   wrapped cash was concealed in six tobacco bags with names of would –be owners written on it.  The seizure of the North American country of the United States millions of dollars by the MMIA, Command had made the then ACG Adeniyi , a household name.

Given his outstanding performance at the MMIA, with the seizure of millions of the $8.65 million at the MMIA,   may have informed why former Katsina state born Nigerian President conferred on him an MFR, award on the former Customs   National Public Relations Officer, in 2022.

Ever since, President Tinubu pronounced DCG Adeniyi, as the acting Comptroller of General of Customs, he has continued to receive Congratulatory messages from friends and Colleagues, including Maritime Journalists, who had worked closely with him between 1990 and now and who knew what he can do.

 While DCG Adeniyi has replaced Col. Ali, rtd, in Customs, as the new boss, DIG.Kayode Egbedokun, was appointed by the Nigerian President to replace, Baba, the former IGP.The President was said to have also  extended the retirement glare to the military where new service Chiefs were  appointed by him.

The newly appointed service Chiefs were   Major General Christopher  Musa, Chief of Defence Staff, who replaced Gen. Lucky Irabor,  Maj. Gen.Abiodun Lagbaja, former General Officer Commanding, GOC,   I Division, Kaduna,  and  who never give a breather to the Bandits Group operatin within  Kaduna an  it environs, was appointed to take over from Lt. General Farouk Yahaya, Chief of Army Staff, CoAS,  While Rear Admiral Ikechukwu Ogalla , was appointed as the Chief of Naval Staff, CNS, to replace Vice Admiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo,  who was said to have joined other security Chief to proceed forced retirement.  AVM. Bala Abubakar, was appointed by the President to take over from Air Marshall Oladayo Adeyinka Amao,   as the Chief of Air Staff, CAS.

The Nigerian President may have known that he needed to beef up the  security at the Villa  that he has approved the appointment of Maj. Isa Farouk Audu as the Commanding officer of the State House Artillery, Capt. Kazeem Olalekan Sumonu,  as the second –Command, to the Commanding officer of the State House Artillery,  Maj.  Kamaru  Oyejo Hamzat, was named as the Commanding Officer, State House military intelligence, Major. TS. Adeola, Commanding Officer, State House Armament, and Lt. A. aminu, second-in Command to the Commanding Officer Armament. Security experts believe that that making such military appointments, he has usurped the powers of the COAS, who ought to make such postings.

Hajia H. Bala Usman: SA Policy Coordination

He was said to have appointed Hajia Hadiza Bala Usman, a former Managing Director  the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, who was suspended from office in 2021, by former President Buhari,  for failing to remit  N165 billion operating surplus  of the Authority to the Federation Account   as  Special Adviser Policy Coordination.

 He was said to have also appointed Hajia  Hanatu  Musa Musawa as his Special Adviser, Culture and Entertainment  economy.   He did not stop there.  He has appointed Senator Abdullahi Abubakar Gumel, Senior Special Assistant, National Assembly Matters, Senate and Kunle Ibrahim, Senior Special Assistant, House of Representatives.

He may not have sacked the Chief Executive Officers, CEO, of the government owned parastatals, agencies, institutions and Companies but was said to have dissolved their Governing Boards.In directing the CEOs of the government owned agencies, institution, including companies to take all matters  concerning their respective Organisations   that requires the attention of their res  Boards the President was said to have asked them to refer such matters  to his office through their  respective  ministries Permanent Secretaries   until such a time when it will reconstituted.

The Permanent Secretaries, in turn   were said to have been directed ‘’ to route all Correspondences to the office of the President through the Secretary of  theGovernment of the Federation,  SenatorGeorge Akume, a former governor of Benue state  .  He was to have  made it clear  to all the ministries  , Departments and  Agencies, Permanent Secretaries  ‘’ to ensure  compliance  to the provision  of  the new directive  which  was said to have taken effect from Friday, June 16, 2023.   

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