All is not well within President Muhammadu Buhari’s inner cycle as his powerful Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari is up in arms against the president’s influential nephew, Mamman Daura and his ally, Isa Funtua in a bid to fence off their grip in the affairs of state.
Villa sources told Pointblanknews.com that the friction among Buhari’s men manifested when Kyari blocked the ministerial nominees from Daura and Funtua. It was learnt that the tussle escalated with the illicit take over of Keystone Bank with N25 billion by Funtua which was said to have infuriated Kyari.
Funtua it was gathered had blocked Kyari’s involvement in the Keystone Bank deal which prompted the chief of staff to secure a directive from Buhari to investigate it.
It was further learnt that the chief of staff was forced to forge an alliance with the embittered First Lady, Aisha Buhari, as part of measures to consolidate his influence in the Villa.
The source pointed out that Kyari’s attendance of an event organised by the first lady to seek prayers for the nation was his message to the Daura and Funtua.
Daura, Kyari and Funtua, renowned as Buhari’s closest confidants are often regarded as the cabal running the country. For the better part of Buhari’s first term, Aisha was locked in an open battle with Buhari’s men over control of the presidency.
The friction between Aisha and Daura recently came to the fore after a video emerged of her complaining that security operatives watched as Daura’s daughter recorded her complaints over the occupation of a residence in the Villa by Daura.
Daura interestingly was instrumental to Kyari’s emergence as chief of staff to Buhari.
However the Villa source told Pointblanknews.com that “Isa Funtua and Mamman Daura have not been finding space easily in the presidential villa. The enormous powers Abba Kyari now wields has reduced their influence and they are bitter. They nominated people for Ministerial appointments and other appointments, Kyari shut them down. They seek for juicy deals, they are not obliged anymore. Since the announcement by Buhari that all seeking meetings with him must be cleared by Kyari, Kyari has now found a reason to ensure some members of the cabal are kept away from the president.
“Although Mamman Daura was one of those behind the appointment of Kyari, he has now lost his loyalty. Kyari now has enormous powers and he is using the same to undo the other members of the cabal.”
The source added, another sore area beside the appointment of ministers and others is the way and manner Isa Funtua used his son-in-law in AMCON to purchase Key stone bank for a paltry N25billion.
“Kyari has been unhappy how that deal was done and has now decided to revisit the deal. Sources said he has already informed Buhari about the deal and has been given the directive to investigate.
“Funtua’s attempt to stop kyari from meddling into the Keystone Bank deal and other stuff the other cabal members are into have gone on deaf ears. Kyari has already made up with the First Lady, they have reconciled and so the first lady has seen an ally to deal with those who were pressuring Buhari to take a second wife.
“Before the sale of Keystone Bank to Isa Funtua, all bad debts in the books of the Bank were taken over by AMCON. So, it was a clean Bank with all the Assets and no Liabilities that was sold to the Buyers.
“The Executive Management of AMCON was coerced into approving the transaction and those who were willing to submit a much higher bid were disqualified under a most opaque, suspicious process that lacks all transparency, the source lamented.
“The most disgusting part of the deal is how AMCON used its own funds as collateral for a loan of 20 Billion Naira to the Funtua Group.
“The Isa Funtua Team then paid 5Billion Naira to AMCON, and then the balance of 20 Billion Naira was later paid through the most criminal and corrupt approach ever perpetrated by AMCON in favour of the Buyer. What happened was that AMCON moved 20Billion Naira of their own funds as a fixed deposit at GTBank to Heritage Bank. The keystone deal is the major anger of Kyari now,” the source said.