The Nigerian presidency on Wednesday fired the head of the intelligence service, a day after it said security services staged a brief “takeover” of parliament.

Hooded armed men from the police and Department of State Service (DSS) filtered access to the two chambers – the Senate and House of Representatives – on Tuesday morning, preventing lawmakers, workers, journalists and other visitors from entering.

The presidency denied authorising the move, which comes amid a surge of tension between President Muhammadu Buhari and political rivals.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo – who is acting as head of the country while Buhari is on holiday, ordered the dismissal of DSS chief Lawal Musa Daura “with immediate effect”.

He described the “unauthorised takeover” of the National Assembly as “a gross violation of constitutional order” and “rule of law”.

The DSS has often been accused of high-handedness and abuses against perceived political opponents of the Buhari administration.

Parliament began a two-month recess on July 24.

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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