By Salisu Sani-Idris
The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), on Wednesday said it would prosecute a landlord and four other persons for destruction of public property within an Abuja estate.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that a landlord of House No. 4, Sani Zangon Daura St., off Bala Muhammad Way, Guzape District, Abuja, allegedly commissioned a company to drill a borehole on a walkway.
FCTA Director, Department of Development Control, Muktar Galadima, who led the operation, frowned at level of destruction of public property by developers and landlords.
Galadima warned that the FCTA would not hesitate to use relevant laws to prosecute violators.
Reacting to the development, he said “the residents woke up to find some people drilling borehole on their road. They drilled the borehole on the pedestrian walkway; in fact my heart is pained.
“This is a serious damage to the environment. Definitely we are going to prosecute him. That is why we are in liaison with Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) and other relevant agencies to prosecute the offenders.
“This is damaging public property. This is vandalism. This is an opportunity for me to warn other developers that we will not accept this from any developer.”
Galadima said that the FCTA would resist any attempt by any developer to use pedestrian walkway to drill borehole.
“You have your property and you must obtain approval before you can drill borehole wherever it is going to be.
“It was a concerned citizen that drew our attention to this. We will not allow this. We will continue monitoring developments in Abuja, even during weekends,” he said.
On his part, AEPB’s Head, Monitoring and Enforcement, Malam Kaka Bello, said the board would corroborate with FTCA to prosecute the alleged culprit.
Also, the Chief Engineer in charge of Guzape area, Mr Aliyu Ahmed lamented the rate at which boreholes were being drilled indiscriminately in the area.
“The issue of drilling of boreholes on our walkway has been rampant. There are many boreholes sunk around this area alone.
“We are going to lock up all the illegal boreholes. Drilling borehole on the road corridor is illegal. You can drill borehole inside your compound but the outside of your compound doesn’t belong to you.”
A staff of the drilling firm handling the project, Davita Drill Tech, Mr Solomon Donald, told journalists that they started the drilling since Sunday.
He, however, could not ascertain whether there was a permit from the authorities to drill since the owner of the house could not be reached.
NAN reports that FCTA authorities apprehended Donald and three of his colleagues, including a gateman for further questioning. (NAN) ( www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Kevin Okunzuwa/Grace Yussuf