President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the appointment of Mr Ahmed Abubakar as the substantive Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA).
Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, who announced this on Wednesday in a statement signed by him, said the appointment takes immediate effect.
Until his appointment as NIA DG, Abubakar, a retired career Foreign Service officer, was serving as the Senior Special Assistant to the President (SSAP) on Foreign Affairs/International Relations.
He had also briefly served as Senior Adviser at the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF), with headquarters in Ndjamena, Chad, before his appointment as SSAP.
According to the Presidency, the new NIA boss had extensive experience working with the United Nations in peace support operations, mediation process, preventive diplomacy and good offices, as well as the promotion of good governance and respect for the rule of law and human rights.
Abubakar holds a B.A degree in French Language and Literature, and an M.A degree in Francophone Maghrebian Literature, both from Bayero University, Kano.
His appointment comes more than eight months after the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) discovered about N13billion in an apartment in Ikoyi area of Lagos State.
The money was allegedly linked to the former Director General of the NIA, Mr Ayodele Oke, who was later suspended by the President in April 2017.
President Buhari had set up a three-man panel headed by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to investigate the allegations of corruption levelled against him and the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Babachir Lawal.
The former SFG Lawal was also said to have violated the law and due process in the award of contracts under the Presidential Initiative on the North East (PINE).
After going through the panel’s report, the President consequently sacked both men on October 30, 2017, saying nobody would be shielded from prosecution if found to be culpable the anti-corruption war.
Two days later, the EFCC summoned Mr Oke and his wife, Folashade, in furtherance of its investigative activities to unravel the circumstances surrounding the $43.45 million cash recovered by its operatives.
However, an attempt to arrest Oke by the EFCC was thwarted by some security operatives from the NIA and DSS.