The Whistle has received a letter from an ex ambassador who worked closely with the newly appointed Director General of the National Intelligence Agency, Abubakar Rufai Ahmed during his time at Darfur. The letter is basically a dossier on Rufai’s questionable record during his time working at the UN which include cases of sexual exploitation, fraudulent claims, illegal employment and cover ups by his godfather Amb. Babagana Kingibe.
For context, Kingibe, who is described as Nigeria’s de-facto president in some quarters, is widely believed to have engineered Rufai’s appointment as the NIA DG after the sack of the former head of the intelligence agency, Ayodele Oke.
Rufai’s appointment is frowned upon by the intelligence community who have questioned his capacity, competence and credibility. The intelligence community has continued to release leaks to the media on Rufai Ahmed and a group pf directors recently wrote a letter, anonymously signed to the National Assembly on the issue.
The dossier from Darfur in form of a letter, reads as follows:
1. I am convinced beyond doubt that we are all in this for the love of our country. I write this letter as a concerned Nigerian who has worked with and know Abubakar Rufai Ahmed very well. I hope that the authorities can be properly guided in choosing a more suitable head of the NIA from the avalanche of so many more suitable and better qualified hands besides Abubakar Rufai Ahmed, who in my estimation is a gross misfit.
2. I crave your indulgence to recap my story on all I know about Ahmed Rufai Abubakar as my colleague and friend, with whom I have continued to interact after he had left the services of UNAMID in 2015.
Our paths first crossed in 2005 while I was serving with the Nigerian Embassy in Sudan. During that period, I interacted closely with Nigerian Military Officers and their civilian counterparts who were on Peace Keeping Mission along with him in Darfur. The Officers had often complained about his attitude while at AMIS mission with Ambassador Babagana Kingibe as the Head of Mission and Ambassador Hassan Gibril of the Gambia as the Deputy Head of Mission. The Field Commander (FC) at that time, Major General Luke Aprezi was also a Nigerian. Ambassador Babagana Kingibe actually arrived the mission with Ahmed Rufai Abubakar who was manning the Political Desk. While Ambassador Babagana Kingibe maintained a home at Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) and a working Guest House in Khartoum (Sudan), the Deputy Head of Mission, Ambassador Hassan Gibril was domiciled with the peacekeepers in Darfur; about one hour thirty minutes’ flight from Khartoum. All the while, Ahmed Rufai Abubakar was located with Ambassador Babagana Kingibe.
3. In the last quarter of 2005, Ambassador Babagana Kingibe ceased to be AMIS Head of Mission. Madam Monique Mukaruliza of Rwanda assumed the office of Head of Mission in acting capacity and remained in office until 31 December 2007, when the UN took over from AMIS. The mission nomenclature also changed from AMIS to UNAMID (United Nations African Union Hybrid Operations in Darfur). A Congolese, Ambassador Rudulph Adada took over from Madam Monique Mukaruliza as the Joint Special Representative (JSR) of the UN Secretary General. Barely 7 months after, a Nigerian Ambassador Ibrahim Gambari was appointed by the UN Secretary General to take over as JSR. Thankfully, General ML Agwai (rtd), another Nigerian was appointed as the FC.
4. Transmutation from AMIS to UNAMID came with its challenges. Apart from the troops and police officers from different countries, the AMIS civilian staff were not automatically absorbed into the UN system. The UN maintains its own policies and processes to recruit their staff. Due to the dearth of civilian staff, coupled with the refusal of UN staff in other mission to relocate to Darfur due to fear, a window of opportunity was created for fresh recruitment. As at this period, Ahmed Rufai Abubakar who had hitherto been holed up in either Addis or Khartoum relocated to Darfur. It was also in the same period that Ahmed Rufai Abubakar also applied and secured a job as Political Affairs Officer on the rank of P4. Two other Nigerian military officers (still serving), Lieutenants Colonels OZ Azinta (now Major General and GOC) and Augustine Agundu (now Major General) at the DHQ who were sharing the same office with Ahmed Rufai Abubakar also applied and secured jobs as Political Affairs Officers on the rank of P4. After they had completed orientation training at the UN training school in Brindisi, Northern Italy, Azinta and Agundu declined the UN job offer, preferring to pursue their careers in the military. They both departed Darfur at the end of their tour of duty.
5. It is pertinent to emphasis at this juncture that Ahmed Rufai Abubakar secured a permanent job with the UN as a P5, the equivalence of an Assistant Director, and appropriated all the benefits that goes with a permanent staff. The impression we all had was that he was formally of the ministry of Foreign Affairs. He was there until 2013 when he attained the mandatory retiring age of 62. He was a P5 officer all along and at no time did he attain the rank of a D2 officer, rather, he was granted that at the tail end of his stay in UNAMID, as a parting gift. A D2 is the equivalence of a Deputy Director. Interestingly, Ahmed Rufai Abubakar had a very close relationship with the lady who was the Deputy Joint Special Representative (DJSR), Achiatou Muhammadu from the Niger Republic. It was an open secret in UNAMID that there was more to their relationship than meet the eyes. She, it was believed, that facilitated his promotion to D2 at his point of departure, so that he will be entitled to pensions from the UN. Coincidentally, she was appointed the JSR of the UN mission in Cote’d’Voire about the same time Ahmed Rufai Abubakar was leaving UNAMID. She once again facilitated another UN job for Ahmed Rufai Abubakar as a Consultant with the UN in Senegal. Consultancy services in the UN system is limited by time. He remained a consultant in Senegal for 2 years before the job was terminated in August 2015. Consultants in the UN system, like anywhere else are not entitled to certain benefits enjoyed by permanent staff; including pension. However, he was already pensionable with the UN having worked with UNAMID for more than 5 years. UN staff are pensionable after 5 years of unbroken service.
6. The question remains that if Ahmed Abubakar Rufai was a permanent staff with NIA, he had no business accepting a permanent job with the UN without resigning from NIA. It is hard to believe that he only turned in his resignation letter to the NIA in 2013; the same year he left UNAMID. His pen picture suggests one who is extremely arrogant and aloof. He never attended any Nigerian community function while in Darfur, including Independence Day Celebrations. Above all else, Ahmed Rufai Abubakar was entangled in a very serious breach of the UN core values in Darfur which could have earned him a sack if not for the cover up he got from the senior management. A case of sexual exploitation was established against Ahmed Rufai Abubakar in 2012 when he got one of his staff in the political Affairs Department, Blanche Munah Hyde from Sierra Leone pregnant. She was eventually delivered of a baby girl after Rufai accepted responsibility.
7. Finally, I confess that Ahmed Rufai Abubakar was my colleague and friend, so there is really no motive to lie against him. In fact, I remained in mail contact with him long after he left UNAMID. The records are there to support all that I have stated, in the subsequent paragraphs. Accept these as facts and let the authorities know, but protect my identity for obvious reasons.
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