Impeachment: Nyako, Legislators Move Battle to Court, Atiku, Others Step In
The move by the members of the Adamawa State House of Assembly to impeach the state governor, Admiral Murtala Nyako and his Deputy, Mr James Bala Ngilari, may soon shift to the court as both parties make final preparations to file separate suits.
While the House of Assembly, which has been unable to serve the governor with the impeachment notice, is set to approach court to seek an order for substituted service, the governor on the other hand is going to court to seek a judicial interpretation of the issues involved.
A source in the camp of the legislators said, “We are going to court. I want to believe that our lawyer would have gone there by now to ask for an order to serve the governor through substitution.”
On the governor’s camp, a source said, they are also going to court to seek for the judicial interpretation of the notice of impeacgment which the governor is yet to be served with.
“What we would like the court to determine is whether the present House has the powers to call up a matter from the governor’s first term in office to make an issue out of it.
“We would also like the court to tell us the difference between a Chief Judge and an acting Chief Judge because the constitution stipulates that certain functions which the House is seeking to carry out through the back door are reserved for the Chief Judge.”
It was also gathered that a yet to be identified religious group is mounting pressure on the members of the House to drop charges against the deputy governor, Mr. Bala Ngalari.
This is even as the embattled governor with the former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Malam Nuhu Ribadu, and the Adamawa State Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Mrs. Binta Koji, met with former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar.
Atiku, who travelled to South Africa for the inauguration of the country’s parliament, returned to the country at about 7 pm yesterday ostensibly to also play a fatherly role in the matter.
It was gathered that Atiku would beg the legislators to sheathe their swords by saving the jobs of both the governor and his deputy.
”Where this fails, we hope that the former vice president will ask his loyalists to withdraw their signatures. Once he does that, the impeachment process will collapse because the requisite number for it to continue will have been lost,” a source close to the meeting said.
According to the source, both Nyako, Ngilari and the legislators were in Abuja for the reconciliation meeting.
Apart from Atiku’s alleged intervention, it was also gathered that the Northern Nigerian Governors’ Forum, NNGF, also met to resolve the issues at stake and save him from being impeached just as the Senator representing Taraba North, Senator Aisha Jummai Al – Hassan reportedly called a meeting of senators from the North East to intervene in the matter.
Meanwhile, the Adamawa State Commissioner for Justice, Mr Ibrahim Tahir, told newsmen in Yola yesterday that the EFCC had written the state to the effect that it had frozen all the bank accounts of the state government in commercial banks.
The EFCC said it ‘’froze the accounts as a precautionary measure to safeguard the state treasury amid evidence of barefaced looting uncovered in an on- going investigation.”
According to sources at the Commission, there was massive looting of the state treasury by top officials of state government, a development that led to the arrest and questioning of the Secretary to the State Government, the Commissioner for Finance, former Commissioner for Local Government (now Commissioner for Higher Education), the Accountant General of the State and the Permanent Secretary, Ministry for Local Government.
“In the course of investigation, a critical analysis of local government accounts revealed massive cash withdrawals,’’ it said last night.
The government further said that apart from freezing the accounts, the Presidency had also ordered securitymen to monitor Nyako’s movements.
Members of the Adamawa State House of Assembly, Tuesday, gave impeachment notices to both Nyako and Ngilari over alleged fraudulent activities running into several billions of Naira.
Following the impeachment notices, all the legislators in the House had relocated to Abuja along with Nyako and Ngilari, as efforts were being made by elders from the state to resolve the issues amicably.
In 2008, the governor faced similar impeachment threats from the legislators but the matter was later resolved.
However, following Nyako’s alleged penchant to tackle political gladiators from the state, he was alleged to have lost the political good will of most leaders, especially within the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, and the opposition People’s Democratic Party, PDP.
Among the political leaders who had at one time or the other quarrelled with Nyako include the former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, former Military Administrator of Lagos State, Brigadier General Buba Marwa and his erstwhile political god-father, Senator Jibril Aminu as well as former National Chairman of the PDP, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur.
As a result of the development, most of the political leaders in the had supported the impeachment of both the governor and his deputy to pave the way for another election within three months.
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