What security sources regarded as ‘security breach’ occurred at the
precincts of the Presidential Villa, State House, Abuja on Thursday
night, when the First Lady’s Aide-de-camp, Usman Shugaba, attempted to
force President Muhammadu Buhari’s Special Assistant, Sabiu Yusuf, into
self -isolation over COVID-19 fears.
State House sources told said that trouble started when Sabiu, President
Buhari’s nephew, returned to his residence at the precincts of the
Presidential Villa, just outside the Pilot gate, after a trip to Lagos
where he had gone to meet his wife who had just delivered a new baby.
Citing COVID-19 protocols, sources said, the First Lady Aisha Buhari and
three of her children, Zahra, Halima and Yusuf, accompanied by some of
her security aides led by the Aide-de-Camp, on Thursday night went to
the residence of Sabiu located just outside the Presidential Villa to
demand that he should self-isolate for 14 days, so as not to endanger
the first family.
The encounter was said to have degenerated into a heated argument as
Sabiu insisted he was not the only aide to travel to Lagos saying that
the new Chief of Staff, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, is in Lagos every weekend
till he settles in Abuja, and wondered why the double standard
requiring his self isolation for visiting his own wife who just
delivered a new baby.
Sabiu, also known as ‘Tunde’ (believed to have been named after Late
Gen. Tunde Idiagbon, Buhari’s deputy during his military regime in the
1980s), was however said to have returned home after the arguments.
As he got home, the first lady in company of her children raided the
premises raining abuses, presidential sources who witnessed the incident
said, leading to the escape of Sabiu after gunshots were fired by the
First Lady’s ADC in an attempt to apprehend the President’s aide, who
had to breach walls to run for his life and escape to the nearby
residence of President Buhari’s cousin, Mamman Daura, where he spent the
Information gathered is that the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed
Adamu, after receiving security report on the incident on Friday where
gunshots were fired in the precincts of the Presidential Villa, ordered
the arrest of the Aide-de-camp to the first lady and all the security
aides that accompanied her to Sabiu’s residence.
Their arrest, was premised on the fact that firing of gunshots, no
matter the provocation in the presidency, and around the president was a
major ‘security breach’.
The incident was however brought into the open by the First Lady on
Friday night when she called on IGP Adamu to release her aides from
In tweets from her verified twitter handle @aishambuhari on Friday
night, the first lady wrote: “That Covid-19 is real and still very much
around in our nation is not in doubt. Consequently, I call on all
relevant Government Agencies to enforce the Quarantine Act signed by Mr.
President and ensure no one is found violating this law and the NCDC
guidelines especially on interstate travel without the necessary
exemptions for movement of essentials. Anyone who does that should at
the very least be made to under go a 14 days mandatory isolation no
matter who the person is, no one should be above the law and the Police
command will do well to remember that.
“Finally, I call on the IGP to release my assigned Staff who are still
in the custody of the Police in order to avoid putting their lives in
danger or exposure to Covid-19 while in their custody.”
She however did not disclose the identities of her aides detained neither did she say when or why they were detained.
Sources in the State House told said that following the death of Mallam
Abba Kyari, the President’s former chief of Staff who died as a result
of COVID-19 complications, the first lady had been moving to expand her
influence within the State House but believed that some of her husband’s
relatives, including Sabiu, were blocking her from achieving that
She however seized the opportunity provided by Sabiu’s visit to Lagos to
attempt to clip his wings by demanding that he should self-isolate so
as not to endanger the first family.
Information gathered is that Sabiu was not the first presidential aide that did not self-isolate after travelling out of Abuja.
Two of the President’s daughters, Zahra and Halima, were also said to
have visited their in-laws when Halima’s husband’s uncle died recently
and didn’t self-isolate when they returned to the Villa