There were indications last night that the impeached governor of Adamawa State, Murtala Nyako, might be arrested by security agents and charged to court for alleged treason.
While the treason charges against the former governor is billed to take off in one court, the Economic & Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, would be prosecuting Nyako in another court for allegedly looting funds of the state said to have been stashed in a local bank.
The governor and the North-East Region manager of the said bank will be charged with another top official of Adamawa State Government, who is being held by the anti-graft agency for aiding and abetting the looting.
A competent security source told Vanguard that the Presidency has already ordered the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke, to file treason charges against the governor, who lost his plum job yesterday.
The charges, according to the source, had been prepared by the Federal Government even before the impeachment process against Nyako started and would merely be completed with the governor’s removal from office.
Nyako to face treason charges
Findings by Vanguard revealed that Nyako is to be tried specifically for levying war against Nigeria and inciting Nigerians and the international community against the person of President Goodluck Jonathan by accusing Jonathan of committing genocide against Northerners under the guise of fighting terrorism.
One of the sources said: “The AGF is ready with the treason charges against Nyako, who never showed any remorse over his letter to the Northern Governors Forum and refused to retract the contents and apologise even when he had the opportunity to do so.
“The AGF has since been directed to file treason charges against the governor, who was fired by the Adamawa State House of Assembly on Tuesday (yesterday) because what he did was levying war against the nation and inciting the world against President Jonathan.
“If the former governor is lucky, he will survive the legal onslaught against him but he may be in for many years in jail if convicted for his indiscretion and deliberate action to malign the President of Nigeria,” the source said.
Why Presidency dumped Ngilari
On why the Presidency withdrew its earlier support for the Deputy Governor to succeed Nyako, the source explained that Ngilari lost out because he tried to join forces with Nyako and work against the interest of the PDP stakeholders in the state.
He explained that Ngilari lost the support of the Presidency and the PDP stakeholders in the state when it was discovered that he had accepted to take over from Nyako and make Nyako’s son his deputy.
“Ngilari lost out when the Presidency got information that he had reached an agreement with Nyako to resign for him to take over as governor and make his son deputy governor so as to continue to protect the former governor’s interests. He thought he was smart,” the source said.
Vanguard further learnt that Ngilari, a Christian, was prevented from succeeding Nyako, a Muslim, so as not to stoke ethno-religious crisis in the state and worsen the security problem in the North-East.
His removal from office notwithstanding, Nyako remained boisterous, yesterday, insisting that he accepted the action against him in good faith, as it was merely a judgment by man and not God.
The former governor said: “All 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”.
Apparently hinging his hope on his move to challenge the impeachment process against him, Nyako urged his supporters to remain calm and law-abiding, as the matter was far from being over.
Ngilari hasn’t resigned — Nyako
In spite of that, Nyako disagreed with the claim by the House of Assembly that Ngilari had resigned his position as deputy governor, arguing that the law required the deputy governor to submit his resignation letter to the governor and not the House of Assembly.
Nyako argued that he was still the governor of Adamawa State at the time Ngilari was said to have submitted his resignation letter to the Speaker of the state House of Assembly in contravention of Section 306 (5) of the 1999 Constitution.
Nyako, who spoke through his Director of Press and Public Affairs, Mr. Ahmed Sajoh, said: “Our attention has been drawn to the purported resignation of the Deputy Governor of Adamawa State, Barr Bala James Ngilari, 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, the Deputy Governor has not resigned. Barr. Bala James Ngilari 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’s spokesman said.
How Nyako was impeached
The removal of the governor by the State House of Assembly followed the adoption of the report of the seven-man investigation panel set up by the former Adamawa State Acting Chief Judge, Justice Ambrose Mammadi to investigate alleged gross misconduct levelled against the removed governor and his Deputy.
At yesterday’s plenary session, the Speaker of the Assembly, Mr Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri read the report of the panel to the members, and quoted section 18(a) of the Constitution which gives the House 14 days within which to deliberate on the report.
Mr Jerry Kundusi representing Gombi Constituency then moved a motion that since the House has the required 2/3 Majority, it should commence debate on the panel’s report immediately.
Mr Kwamote La’on representing Numan Constituency supported the motion and there was no dissenting voice, while the House immediately commenced debate on the report.
At this point, the Speaker called each of the signatories to the impeachment process to confirm their signature in order to ensure the 2/3 majority needed is attained.
17 of the 25-member House of Assembly affirmed that their signatures were authentic and they stood by it.
At this juncture, the report of the panel was read by the Speaker to the members specifying the 20 charges preferred against Nyako.
Four of the allegations were, however, dropped by the panel for lack of merit.
After being found guilty of 16 out of the 20-count charges, the Deputy Speaker moved a motion seconded by Jerry Kundisi that the House adopt the report of the panel.
Consequently, the Speaker of the House, Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri stated that the House has satisfied section 18 (9) of the Constitution, and that he, therefore, had no alternative than to declare the office of the Governor of Adamawa State vacant.
The Deputy Speaker also moved a motion, seconded by Jerry Kundisi that since the Deputy Governor has resigned, the Speaker should be sworn in as Acting Governor.
The House in session unanimously directed the President of Adamawa Customary Court, in the absence of the Chief Judge to swear in the Speaker as Acting Governor for three months before an election is conducted to fill in the vacant office of the Governor of Adamawa State.
Before the commencement of the house plenary session, the speaker read a letter from deputy governor, Bala James Ngilari announcing his voluntary resignation.
Culled From; Vanguarg