Where is Nura Dalhatu, self-styled DCG?

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Where is Nura Dalhatu, self-styled DCG?
Segun Oladipupo    |   

On July 8, 2019, Assistant Superintendent of  Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Mr. Nura Dalhatu caused a stir when he sauntered into the Customs’ headquarters, Abuja, donning a  well-starched uniform of a Deputy Comptroller General ((DCG), a rank eight steps far above his official rank.
The awe-stricken colleagues of Dalhatu, watched as the impostor took long strides towards the office of Hameed Ali, the Comptroller-General of Customs whom he said he had come to replace as the new CGC.
Before he could cause further embarrassment to the Customs top hierarchy, Dalhatu was stopped in his stride and shielded away from the prying eyes of the shell -shocked onlookers.
The spokesperson of the Service, Mr. Joseph Attah, had then explained that Dalhatu was questioned about his action but replied in a manner that indicated he was mentally unstable.

According to Attah; “It was obvious that he was not in the right frame of mind from the questions and the answers he gave”.

Attah had also revealed that the officer was later taken to the hospital for appropriate evaluation and treatment.

Attah, a Deputy Comptroller even pleaded with Nigerians to show sympathy towards Dalhatu’s condition and pray for his quick recovery.

Attah had promised to update the public about the development on Dalhatu’s health. But over one year after, mum is the word.

The incident had then elicited varied emotions among the amused stakeholders, many of whom believed that Dalhatu had carried out the action with the backing of influential members of the ruling class who are not favourably disposed to the leadership style of the current Comptroller -General.

More than  one year after the incident, not much has been heard about the sanity or otherwise of the said officer, despite the explanation by the Customs authority that Dalhatu was going through mental evaluation.

However, NigeriaMaritime 360 got curious to know the state of sanity of the self- promoted DCG, believing that one year was too long a time for the Customs authority to update the public on the dramatic spectacle.
Even though, no one was willing to talk in order not to incur the wrath of the Customs High Commander, but a source in the service who pleaded for anonymity whispered to our correspondent that Dalhatu has since returned to his duty post, dismissing the claims that he was mentally unstable.
“He(Dalhatu) was perfectly in a sound mind when he pulled off  the stunt.
“The claims of unsound mind by the Customs authority was pushed out to the public as a face -facing measure against the obvious embarrassment the incident brought to the service” the source claimed.

He stated further that the man took the action with the knowledge and support of powers that be in the service owing to the  deep seated disaffection among some senior officers with the current management led by the Comptroller General, Hameed Ali.

According to the source, no further information will be given by the service because of the powers behind him.
However, Joseph Attah, the National Public Relations of Customs, in a telephone interview, claimed that Dalhatu was still under rehabilitation.
When our correspondent insisted that a credible source has confirmed that Dalhatu has resumed duties, Attah, in a tone laden with impatience and irritation, quipped that he had said all he knew about the situation.
“As much as I know, he is in rehab. I have told you all i know about the development”, Attah submitted with a dismissive voice.
Meanwhile, when our correspondent sought to know the position of law on the incident, it was learnt that such action by Dalhatu  amounts to impersonation which is actionable.
Speaking with an erudite maritime lawyer, Barrister Emmanuel Nwagbara over the development, he stated that the law of the land frowns against such action.

According to him, the Customs authority ought to have come out with its stand on the issue and made its findings known to the public.

“We didn’t hear that he was diagnosed before the service said he was not in the right frame of mind neither did we hear that he was diagnosed after the incident.

“The Board of the Nigeria Customs should have made its position known to the public but, unfortunately, the exact position is yet to be known one year after.

“There is order in the service and such action is contrary to the law for an officer of a junior rank to wear the rank of a higher officer of which he is not.

“Under normal situation, that will amount to impersonation calculated to mislead the public.

“It is not an action which can only be disciplined by way of dismissal from service, it is also an action that will expose the officer to criminal prosecution.

“So, that is the position of the law and we want to know what has actually happened looking at the fatality of the circumstance at the time,” he explained.

Meanwhile, in May 2019, the Apapa Magistrate Court sentenced a 40 -year old man, Morgan Mohammed, to five years imprisonment for impersonating an officer of the Nigerian Customs Service and for defrauding his victims of N454, 000.

Magistrate T.O Babalola had sentenced Mohammed after he pleaded guilty to three counts of impersonation, stealing and obtaining under false pretence.

“Based on the facts of this case, confirmed the report and the plea of leniency, I hereby sentence you to five years imprisonment with an option to pay back the total sum stolen from the complainants.

”The court also sentenced the convict to six months community service for the charge of impersonation,” he ruled.

“So why is the case of  Dalhatu, who brazenly impersonated a DCG and made attempt to unseat the CGC,is been hushed up one year after the embarrassing spectacle was put in public display?”
concerned stakeholders queried.

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