The Adamawa State House of Assembly yesterday impeached Governor Murtala Nyako, after an indictment by a seven-man panel which had probed the governor over a 16-count charge of gross misconduct and financial mishandling.
But just mere hours before the legislators’ gave their verdict on Nyako, the deputy governor, Mr. Bala James Ngillari, allegedly submitted in a resignation letter in haste, revealing that he was quitting office. It is said that this was done to pre-empt the pending impeachment. His resignation letter was read on the floor of the House by the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Hon. Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri. The letter was accepted by the members.
After the resignation of Ngillari, Hon. Umar Fintiri, was sworn in as the acting governor of the state yesterday by the former acting Chief Judge (CJ) of the state, Justice Ambrose Mammali.
Now, let it be noted that Mammali’s tenure as the acting Chief Justice of the state actually expired on June 8. The question is, does he have the proper authority to swear in Fintiri as the acting governor of the state?
However, it was learned that that his name was sent to the House of Assembly for confirmation before the impeachment commenced. Also it was said that the moment his tenure expired, the Nigerian Judicial Commission (NJC) immediately established him as the Chief Justice of Adamawa state. This act, however, had not received the authorization of Nyako.
Now, back to Ngillari. In a release from the office of the Deupty Governor, Ngillari stated that he had not resigned and purportedly disclaimed the letter, reiterating that “Barrister Bala James Ngillari is still the Deputy Governor of Adamawa State”.
The statement reads:
“Our attention has been drawn to the purported resignation of the Deputy Governor of Adamawa State Barr Bala James Ngillari which was supposedly read on the floor of the State House of Assembly. We wish to state categorically that Section 306 (5) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as Amended requires that the Deputy Governor resigns not to the House of Assembly but to the Governor. As at the time the supposed resignation was said to have been tendered in the House, Murtala H. Nyako was the Governor of Adamawa State. No such letter was written to him, none was received by him and none was approved by him. It should therefore be known that in the eyes of the Law that the Deputy Governor has not resigned.
“Barr Bala James Ngillari is still the Deputy Governor of Adamawa State. This clarification is necessary to avert another subversion of the Constitution since the other processes relating to the impeachment saga have all been in contravention of the Constitution and the Law.
We wish to observe that continued abuse of the constitution and the laws of the land may spell doom for our democracy.”
Nyako had been slammed with a 16-count charge of gross misconduct and financial mishandling, while Ngillari faces a six-count charge of gross misconduct.
Neither Nyako nor Ngillari appeared before the investigative panel.
Meanwhile Nyako, speaking on his impeachment said he had accepted his fate but asked his traducers to be mindful of God’s judgment.
“Praise be to Allah, we accept what has happened. This is the judgment of man; we should all remember that there is God’s judgment in the hereafter,”Nyako said.