FCT minister: It’s time to reinstate Nahuce to Water Board

The power struggle in FCT Water Board has ended, it is time to reinstate an innocent man falsely accused of corruption back to his office. January 14, 2021, the FCT High Court sitting in Jabi, Abuja exonerated, discharge and acquitted Engineer Aliyu Nahuce, suspended general manager, FCT Water Board, from the false allegations against him’ bordering on corruption.

Nahuce was petitioned to the EFCC by a labour union on alleged misappropriation of funds. The petition was said to have been influenced by the board of FCT Water Board. He was investigated by the EFCC and arraigned before a high court. After a year legal battle the water boss was discharged, acquitted and exonerated from blame.

During the trial, Engineer Nahuce was suspended from office despite the Industrial court order restraining the FCT minister from carrying out such action until the final determination of the case. Experience shows that Engineer Aliyu Nahuce, as a general manager, FCT Water Board is a very prudent manager of resources, technocrat with almost three decades of working career and ensures high degree of professionalism and discipline among his staff.

He is also a renowned quiet gentleman, active and around the clock public servant. These virtues of the industrious engineer has no doubt contributed to the reputation of the board as a formidable establishment in the country. Despite paucity of funds and the coronavirus challenges which led to non payment of water bills by FCT water subscribers during the lockdown, he strived to ensure regular and stable supply of water in the city, all the same.

For instance, he restored water supply to Asokoro extension, introduced mobile application for water reading at site, fenced FCT Water Board properties and led the team of engineers that repaired the bottom outlet of Lower Usuman Dam which has been faulty since 1996. His administration is credited to have created Nibox cash terminal at the customers’ care units and area offices for the collection of customers’ payment and secured installation of solar panel at ultrasonic metre base at Lower Usuman Dam, etc.

Rather than being appreciated for his tremendous efforts to improve services in the board, ironically the achievement of Nahuce did not go down well with his traducers, who designed a road map to remove him from the system. The popular labour activist who petitioned Nahuce is an assistant director who is eyeing the general manager’s seat and was constantly strategizing by using labour apparatus and machinery to accomplish his goal.

The labour leader succeeded in achieving one of his goals using the false allegations thereby leading to removal of Nahuce from office. Nahuce denied all the allegations against him insisting that the board is responsible for his predicament because of his zero tolerance to corruption and refusal to dance to their tunes.

He was confident of getting justice through the court. The suspended water board boss also ran to the industrial court during the trial to seek justice and protection, having realized that the plan of blackmailing to remove him from office is gaining grounds. The industrial court issued an injunction to the FCT Minister Muhammad Bello to maintain status quo, pending the determination of the case.

But the FCT minister turned deaf ear, closed his eyes and removed Engineer Aliyu Nahuce from the position of general manager FCT Water Board, despite the court order. After Nahuce’s removal, Usman Aliyu was appointed as acting general manager. On assuming office, he allegedly turned the organization upside down instead of stabilising the system. He embarked on vendetta just to please people that created the opportunity for him to occupy the seat.

He allegedly evangelised disunity among staff by making senior officers to work under junior officers and continued to set grounds for the labour leader to occupy the general manager position, since his retirement was due on September 28, 2020. Many professional staff of the water board were deployed and rendered redundant on the alleged romance or loyalty to the former general manager Usman Aliyu also retired after efforts to elongate his stay failed,, necessitating Nahuce to be reinstated back to restore hope among other anti-corruption crusaders in Nigeria. We call on the FCT Minister Muhammad Bello , through the Office of Attorney-General and Minister of Justice to immediately reinstate Nahuce to his position. The system must also sanction false whistle blowers against innocent people leading to several loss of lives and damaged reputation.

Disobedience to court order by political appointees is no doubt a recipe for lawlessness and must be addressed by the relevant authorities. Everyone must be law-abiding in the interest of national development. We must regularly obey and respect the laws of our land.

We should never disregard the laws to avoid the consequences. If a court of competent jurisdiction makes a judicial pronouncement on a particular matter, it should be obeyed to the letter. If you have any problem or disagree with the pronouncement, the right step is to appeal the pronouncement instead of disregarding or violating court judgments. If you are served a court order and you deliberately refuse to obey because you are a minister, then you are setting a dangerous precedent.

There’s no society that prospers through lawlessness; citizens must be law-abiding so that we can achieve the desired development.
Let there be justice, let Nahuce return to his position as he has been vindicated and exonerated by the court.

Ambassador Tsafe writes from Abuja.

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