The Federal High Court in Abuja has ordered the former Governor of Adamawa State, Murtala Nyako, to enter his defence in the N29 billion fraud case brought against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
In his ruling, Justice Okon Abang dismissed Nyako’s no-case submission.
The EFCC is prosecuting the former Governor alongside his son Abdulaziz and two companies on a 37-count charge of money laundering, criminal conspiracy, stealing and abuse of office.
The EFCC had, so far, called 21 witnesses to establish its claims against the former Governor and the co-defendants, but the Governor had submitted that he had no case to answer.
Nyako, a one-time military Governor of Niger State, served Adamawa as a civilian Governor between 2007 and 2014.
He was impeached by the state House of Assembly in July 2014 but was cleared by the Federal Court of Appeal in February 2016.
Although the Supreme Court also declared his impeachment null and void and ordered that all his entitlements be paid to him, it declined to reinstate Nyako, 78, as Governor in a December 2016 verdict.
President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday reiterated his administration’s resolve in tackle the numerous security challenges in the country, noting that the Federal Government cannot afford to disappoint Nigerians.
Buhari through his media aide, Garba Shehu, condemned the killing of 24 persons in Adamawa on Wednesday, and directed security officials to “redouble their efforts and respond to these security threats promptly and decisively.”
“We can’t afford to disappoint Nigerians that have entrusted their security in our hands,” he said while expressing sadness over the incident which claimed the lives of a vigilante leader and Village Head of Dabna, a village in Dugwaba, Hong Local Government Area of the state.
“This level of savagery, inhumanity and reckless disregard for the sanctity of life cannot go unpunished,” President Buhari said.
The President directed respective agencies under the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development to immediately assess losses in the community and send support.
He equally raised a high-powered delegation to visit the community to convey his sympathies to the families of victims and the government of the north-eastern state.
Gunmen suspected to be Boko Haram Terrorists had on Wednesday stormed Dabna, a farming community three kilometers away from Graha the hometown of the Secretary to the Federal Government, Boss Mustapha.
The community is said to have come under attack in the early hours of yesterday, with insurgents shooting sporadically and setting houses and shops ablaze.
Adamawa State Governor, Umaru Fintiri, has directed an upward review of the curfew imposed on the three Local Government Areas (LGAs) in the state.
The governor’s media aide, Humwashi Wonosikou, announced this in a statement on Monday in Yola, the state capital.
He explained that the governor took the decision following the activities of Shila Boys and other miscreants using tricycles and motorcycles in the affected LGAs – Yola North, Yola South, and Girei.
“The curfew which was from 11pm to 5am during the Ramadan fast has now been reviewed to commence from 10pm to 5am with immediate effect.
“The review of the restriction of movement is necessitated by the desire of the government to checkmate rising activities of hoodlums terrorising these areas,” the statement read.
While approving the review, Governor Fintiri directed the security agencies to ensure strict compliance with the order under the Adamawa State Restriction of Movement of Tricycles/Motorcycles Executive Order No.1 of 2021.
He warned residents that anybody found breaching the peace or violating the curfew should be made to face the wrath of the law.
“Security agencies will continue to discharge their duties and residents are urged to cooperate with them to maintain the status of our state as one of the most peaceful.
“I appeal to residents not to indulge in any action that may turn back the clock, but to keep living in harmony and strengthen the unity that we are known for,” the governor was quoted as saying in the statement.
The Shila Boys, members of a criminal gang in Adamawa, are said to have been terrorising residents in parts of the state.
They reportedly began their operations in 2017 and the group comprises young boys between 12 and 27 who steal phones, bags, money, and other valuables from residents, with young girls and ladies as the targets in most cases.
The Shila Boys, according to reports, move around with sharp knives, cutlasses, and machetes, but they are said to have graduated to using tricycles and motorcycles to carry out their operations.
No fewer than thirteen persons are feared killed in Guyuk local government area of Adamawa state following a communal clash between two border communities of Adamawa and Gombe States.
This was made known to Channels Television in a telephone interview by the Executive Secretary, Adamawa State Emergency Management Agency ( ADSEMA) Mohammed Suleiman in Yola the Adamawa state capital.
According to him, the communal clash is a spillover from the crises that erupted in the neighbouring Gombe state between the Waja community of Gombe state and the Lunguda community of Adamawa.
Three villages of Walu, Falu, and Lamza were completely razed down and several people injured as a result of the clash and are receiving medical attention in Guyuk Cottage hospital and other primary healthcare facilities in Guyuk while with severe cases are at the Yola Specialist Hospital receiving treatment.
According to the Executive Secretary of ADSEMA, over one thousand two hundred (1,200) displaced persons are presently being accommodated at the Guyuk Primary School in Guyuk local government area of Adamawa state and more are being registered into the camp for those displaced by the communal clash.
Confirming the incident, the Police Public Relations Officer, Adamawa Command Suleiman Yahya told Channels Television in Yola that they are yet to receive any report of the number of casualties.
He however assured that normalcy has been restored in the affected communities as more security personnel have been deployed to the area.
This is not the first time these two communities have been involved in communal clashes resulting in the burning of villages, loss of many lives, and property worth millions destroyed.
This fresh incidence is coming at the heels of previous clashes between both communities slightly over a year ago resulting in the loss of lives and property.
The trial of a former Governor of Adamawa State, Murtala Nyako has been stalled following the adjournment of the case at the instance of the Federal High Court.
At the resumed trial on Monday in Abuja, Justice Okon Abang informed the parties that the court is adjourning the trial to February 26 to enable the defendants to reply on point of law on their no-case submission.
Nyako had urged the court to strike out the alleged ₦29 billion money laundering charges filed against him and others by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The anti-graft agency is prosecuting the former governor alongside his son, Abdul-Aziz Nyako; two companies – Sebore Farms and Extension Ltd and Pagado fortunes Ltd. They are listed as first, second, sixth and seventh defendants.
Other defendants are Zulkifik Abba, Abubakar Aliyu, Blue Opal Ltd, Tower Assets Management Ltd and Crust Energy Ltd as third, fourth, fifth, eighth and ninth defendants respectively.
He was arraigned on a 37-count charge of criminal conspiracy, stealing, abuse of office and money laundering.
Meanwhile, Governor Umaru Finti condemned the terrorist attack, vowing to arrest the perpetrators of the act.
The governor, in a statement issued on Friday by his spokesman, Humwashi Wonosikou, sympathised with the residents of the area, calling on security agencies to do more to further forestall attacks in the state.
“I stand with Garkida community in this difficult time and will continue to support the Military’s efforts to ensure peace, security and justice for the people,” Fintiri was quoted as saying.
“This latest cowardly attack on Gombi town is yet another desperate rearguard action by the Boko Haram terrorists who have been under intense pressure from the Nigerian military.
“Let me reassure Adamawa residents that this latest cowardly attack on Garkida, would not go without severe consequences.”
The suspects, all residents of Dapchi in Yobe state and Song in Adamawa were said to have conspired, kidnapped and demanded the sum of ₦4 million as ransom from their victims.
On the successful arrest of the suspects, the PRO said the Commissioner of Police, Olugbenga Adeyanju, swung into action by deploying combined operatives of police operatives, and hunters who eventually rescued the victims and apprehended the suspects.
He explained that based on findings, the first and the second suspects came all the way from Yobe State and recruited the third to ninth suspects and they eventually formed a syndicate to be carrying out kidnapping activities.
Upon the completion of the investigation, the suspects would be charged to court for the prosecution to serve as a deterrent to others.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Adamawa State Government has threatened to shut down primary schools in the state for reopening without approval.
The Commissioner for Education, Wilbina Jackson, disclosed this on Tuesday during a meeting with the state chapter of the National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools in Yola.
To Jackson, the COVID-19 guidelines must be followed by all stakeholders to prevent the spread of the virus in the state.
“The National Policy on education did not state that primary six should write Common Entrance, that is what we explained to them.
“It is all about automatic promotion, no one is demoted. So that is not an excuse as far as we are concerned. We are here to obey guidelines according to the Federal Ministry of Education on COVID-19,” she said.
The Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Adamawa State, Bishop Dami Mamza, has tested positive for COVID-19.
Mamza, who is also the Catholic Bishop of Yola Diocese and a member of the state’s COVID-19 Containment Committee, confirmed this in a statement on Sunday.
He disclosed that his COVID-19 status was confirmed by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), adding that he has decided to go into self-isolation.
According to the clergyman, one lesson for the people is that they should appreciate and understand the importance of making themselves available for testing if need be.
While noting that testing positive for the virus was not a death sentence, the bishop urged the people to pray for him and all who tested positive for the disease.
He also urged them to take the preventive measures seriously in order to curb the spread of coronavirus in the state.
Meanwhile, the state governor, Umaru Fintiri, has vowed that his administration would not leave any stone unturned until lasting peace was achieved in Adamawa.
The governor, who met with CAN leaders in Yola, the state capital said his administration was on a mission to close the gaps to ensure residents live well and would not discriminate on any basis.
He stressed that to promote development and liberty for all, there must be peace and stability that could only be achieved with good governance, tolerance, harmonious co-existence, and genuine reconciliation.
Governor Fintiri was worried about the security challenges bedevilling Adamawa over the years, such as Boko Haram insurgency, communal clashes, clashes between farmers and herders, banditry, and kidnapping.
He decried that such challenges have left the people devastated, impoverished, and living in fear.
The governor, however, stressed that Adamawa has maintained its posture as a peaceful state, despite conflicts and crisis that threatened its peace in the past.
He explained that the peace being enjoyed in the state was as a result of his government’s good thinking and mediation efforts, in collaboration with groups and stakeholders such as CAN working assiduously to unite the people.
Police authorities in Adamawa State have urged the residents to maintain social distancing and observe all measures put in place to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the state.
The Commissioner of Police in the state, Olugbenga Adeyanju, made the appeal on Thursday on behalf of the State Police Command on the occasion of the Eid-el-Kabir celebrations.
In a statement by the Police Public Relations Officer in Adamawa, Suleiman Nguroje, Adeyanju said the command would leave no stone unturned in enforcing the orders.
According to him, it is important for residents to observe the Eid celebrations bearing in mind the unusual times occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The police commissioner, however, congratulated the Muslim faithful who join their counterparts across the world to celebrate this year’s Eid el-Kabir.
He noted that it was a special period of sacrifice geared towards attaining wholesomeness and urged residents to voluntarily comply with the prevention regulations put in place by the government at all levels.
“The state will surely overcome the COVID-19 pandemic and other criminal activities,” an optimistic Adeyanju said.
He also assured the people of Adamawa of adequate security during and after the Eid el-Kabir celebrations.
The police commissioner stated that proactive and robust anti-crime measures, including the deployment of tactical and intelligence assets of the command, have already been put in place to prevent any untoward incident in the state.
He, however, insisted that the COVID-19 prevention regulation orders were still in force and it was important to comply with them.
Adeyanju’s position is in line with the directive of the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, who asked Nigerians to remember the COVID-19 protocols during the celebrations.
Adamu also called for voluntary compliance with the ban on all mass socio-religious gatherings and other prevention orders directed at protecting the citizens and checking the further spread of COVID-19 in the country.
He asked the people to cooperate with the police, noting that the measures have become imperative due to the rampaging COVID-19 pandemic.
The number of persons infected with coronavirus (COVID-19) in Adamawa State has risen to 84.
Commissioner for Health in Adamawa, Abdullahi Isa, confirmed this on Monday while giving an update on the outbreak of the disease in the state.
He explained that of the confirmed cases, 40 patients were receiving treatment at the isolation centre and 44 people have been discharged.
According to the health commissioner, the state has confirmed 11 new cases while six people have so far died from the disease.
He said Yola North Local Government Area has the highest number of infections – 47, Yola South– nine, Girei – 11, and Mubi North – 10, while the remaining cases cut across the other local government areas.
Isa decried that despite the effort of the state government in curbing the spread of the disease, the state was witnessing an increase in the number of new cases.
On his part, the Commissioner for Information in Adamawa, Umar Garba, called on the residents to comply with the measures put in place to fight the disease in the state.
He stressed that it was important for them to always wear face masks in public places, wash their hands regularly, and observe social distancing.
Earlier, the state government had announced that all its coronavirus patients have been successfully treated and discharged from the isolation centre.
The new cases, however, show a sharp increase in the number of infections due to the proximity of the testing centre located at the Federal Medical Centre in Yola, the state capital.