Controversial Boko Haram memo should not be taken lightly — Former SSS Official

Dennis Amachree, a retired Assistant Director of the State Security Service, SSS, has called for further investigations into the widely circulated memo about infiltration of new locations in North-Central parts of the country by Boko Haram terrorists.

The supposed internal memo purportedly signed by the Comptroller, Enforcement of the Nigeria Customs Service headquarters, H.A Sabo, suggests the terrorists are regrouping around communities in Abuja, Kogi and Nasarawa states.

For over three years, the insurgents have launched various attacks in the North-east, mainly in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states, killing many residents and displacing thousands from their homes.

Before 2016, Boko Haram attacks were rampant in Abuja and Nasarawa with buildings such as the police headquarters and the UN building in Abuja, attacked.

The attacks have continued in the North-east, mainly in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states, despite efforts of the military. In the last four years, many citizens have been killed and thousands displaced from their homes.

The military, in its response on Sunday, allayed the fears of residents of the mentioned communities with the assurance that all armed forces have been on red alert.

Nevertheless, the NCS has said it is investigating the source of the memo but failed to outrightly deny its authenticity.

Mr Amachree, who appeared on Channels TV’s Sunrise daily programme, said although the source of the memo is yet to be ascertained, it is of a very serious value and that relevant agencies should not ignore it.

The former operative of the secret police faulted the memo because it was not properly addressed and classified.

“But when you look at the letter itself, there are a lot of things wrong there, you know, it was not addressed to those it was supposed to. If it was meant for internal circulation the list of people to be circulated to should be there or maybe on the next page. I don’t know but well, it’s not there.

“So, number one; the heading is different from the body. There is intelligence or National Security National Intelligence. And that’s not how intelligence reports are addressed or disseminated.

“Yes, it might be an information but you know, we have to differentiate between information and intelligence. Intelligence is processed information. But this particular one has a little intelligence report on National Security at the same time you say that it is information, which is contradictory.”

Usually, memos are classified in security circles as confidential, restricted, Secrets or top secret, Mr Amachree added.

He noted that the relations of places indicated in the memo shows that it was not processed as the mention of the areas should be confidential information.

Mr Amachree also spoke on the need for synergy between all security agencies perhaps such information is true.

“If they received information like this, they have to take it to the appropriate quarters because I learned the enforcement and intelligence unit of the customs is well-equipped. You need to know how to write on national security.”

Mr Amachree stated that such information should have been sent to the SSS for processing.

“That’s why we are saying that these security agencies should synergise. They should have sent it to the SSS. The SSS will know how to process it appropriately.”

Speaking further, he canvassed for the review of the process of circulating intelligence information within the armed forces by the National Security Adviser, who is supposed to be the “Clearing house,” for intelligence.

Also, Mr Amachree advised the NCS to start hunting for the mole in its office if investigations reveal that the memo was leaked.

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