PDP Clears Ngilari For 2015

AdamawaAdamawa State Governor, Mr Bala Ngilari, has been cleared by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to contest for the party primaries along with other aspirants ahead of the general elections next year.

The governor, whose lawyer, Festus Keyamo had threatened to sue the ruling party if he was barred from contesting the party’s primaries,dedicated his victory at the screening to victims of insurgency in the state.

Addressing supporters at the commissioning of his campaign office in Yola, the governor said he has started working on rehabilitation, resettlement, reconciliation, reconstruction and restructuring of victims of the insurgency.

The leadership of the PDP has also voided the disqualification of its aspirants by the various screening appeal committees across the states.

The party in a statement on Wednesday urged all the affected aspirants to disregard the disqualification orders.

The statement said: “Following enquiries by our members, especially the National Working Committee, the party wishes to announce that all aspirants who have been cleared by different Screening Committees for the purpose of our primary elections should disregard any purported disqualification by Screening Appeal Panels.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the Screening Appeal Panels are neither authorized by our electoral guidelines nor by the constitution of the PDP to disqualify aspirants already cleared by the Screening Committees.

“In this regard, the NWC declares all such disqualifications by Appeal Panels null and void as they clearly violate laid down rules as well as the principles of natural justice and good conscience.”

Adamawa Governor Calls For More Troops To Stop Boko Haram

AdamawaThe Adamawa State Governor, Mr Bala Ngilari says there is need to move in more troops into the state to secure the environment and avoid the insurgents from taking the state.

Mr Ngilari, who was speaking to State House Correspondents, said the challenges of insecurity in the country ranges from lack of employment of Nigerian youths, warning that this is not the time to reduce the case to just the take over of the village of the Chief of Defence Staff.

He said that government will do its best to contain the insurgents, adding that all citizens have a role to play, especially in the area of timely information on the activities of the insurgents.

Suspected militants believed to be members of the radical sect, Boko Haram, last week launched a coordinated attack on Uba and Mubi towns of Adamawa State, north-east Nigeria.

Both towns are located at the northern part of the state bordering Michika and Madagali earlier under siege by the Islamists, the Boko Haram.

Residents said gunshots are currently being heard in both towns as there have been fierce battles earlier in the day. Security troops have made several attempts to repel attacks on the two towns.

Although no authority has confirmed the two attacks, fleeing residents said that the Nigerian Air Force have started pounding on the insurgents with Helicopter gunship as sound of explosions and gunshots are being heard across both towns.

Several people have deserted Mubi and neighbouring towns, seeking refuge towards the central part of the state particularly Yola the state capital.

Adamawa: Ngilari Should Fight ‘Powers That Be’ – Okim

Sunny OkimPublic Affairs Analyst, Sunny Okim, has encouraged the Adamawa State governor, Bala Ngilari to fight against forces working against him and his authority to re-run for office, noting that it was his constitutional right to contest.

Speaking on the issue of zoning in Adamawa, Okim noted that Adamawa is “a really troubled state”, explaining that “between 2007 and now, they have sworn-in eight different governors at different times. It has never happened in any other place in this country.

Adamawa state can be divided into two major regions, Adamawa North, which is dominated by Christians, and Adamawa Central, dominated by Muslims.

According to the analyst, the power play between the two regions is stiff and the governor of the State, who hails from Adamawa North, was scared because the powers that be want to zone him out despite the fact that he became governor via a constitutional means.

Ngilari had been sworn into office following a court judgment which rendered his resignation as deputy governor null and void.

Okim noted that the Peoples Democratic Party had a policy of allowing first time governors run for a second term and asked “why, in this case, don’t they want him to go back”?

According to him, “a hand up there” was responsible for the troubles the governor was facing as outsiders were influencing politics in the state.

He further noted that these issues would hamper the new governor from performing his duties and work towards developing the state.

Commenting on the popularity of the governor and the people’s wish, Okim said “the people can only say this is who we want, if you pass through the primaries of the party. If the party does not want you to be there, my brother, you can’t be there
“They will only allow you to go, buy form,  appear during the screening and then say look, your zone cannot produce the governor.

Mr Okim encouraged the governor to pursue his constitutional right and contest for the office again.

Selective Law Implementation Not Good For Judicial System – Agbaje

Fred AgbajeA Nigerian Lawyer, Fred Agbaje, on Monday berated the Federal Government for the “selective implementation” of court judgments, noting that such a trend would impede the development of the judiciary and the rule of law.

Appearing as a guest on Sunrise Daily, Agbaje recalled a situation in June 2013, “when the same Federal High Court gave judgment in respect of Fresh Democratic Party” and nullified the de-registration of the Party.

“For one good year, INEC and Federal Government refused to obey that judgment,” he said, disclosing that a Motion For Stay and Notice of Appeal were received about two months ago.

According to him, the party did not sue for contempt because it knew what it would meet. He said that the party had been denied access to contest in the Anambra, Ekiti and Osun governorship elections, despite the court ruling.

“We didn’t know all along that they had their motives, only for us to get a motion asking that they are going to Court of Appeal, after depriving the beneficiary of that judgment the fruit of their hard-won victory, for one year. That is justice for you in this country”.

However, he lauded the judiciary, stating that “they’ve done well” and had played by the rule but that “only the politicians are refusing to tow the path of sanity”.

He encouraged legal practitioners to keep their heads up high, as “one misjudgment can cause havoc in the entire system and that’s why judges must be commended”.

He also commended Justice Adeniyi Ademola for his judgement on the Adamawa case, as well as the Federal Government of Nigeria for “the quick implementation” of the court ruling in favour of Ngilari, insisting that it was “a radical departure from the hitherto situation where a judgment had been given in black and white, but government agents started looking for loopholes not to obey it.

Referring to this case in Adamawa, Agbaje surmised that; “this selective implementation of judgment is not good for the development of the rule of law”. He also stated that he “might not be agreeable to that judgement”.

He noted that the peculiarity of every case determines that applicability of the principle of law and the interpretation to be given. “You cannot take hook, line and sinker the principle of law established in one case and use it as a statuette of general application for all other cases, without relating it to the facts before you.”

He argued that the former deputy governor, Bala Ngilari, and the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Umaru Fintiri, must never be allowed to benefit from their own wrongs, noting that the former deputy governor was well aware of his actions, when he submitted his resignation letter to the speaker.

He noted that the deputy governor did not “manifest the intention to resign”. “Did he actually intend to resign or was he just fooling the entire people of Adamawa state? He asked.

He further opined that the deputy governor should have refused to be intimidated to resign, but because he was afraid of being impeached along with the governor, he chose to “send them on a wild goose chase”.

Bala Ngilari Sacks All Political Appointees

Bala NgilariThe new Governor of Adamawa State, Bala Ngilari has hit the ground running by carrying out his first assignment since becoming governor barely 24 hours after being sworn-in.

Governor Ngilari on Thursday dissolved the State Executive Council and also sacked all other political appointees in the state.

The decision which according to him takes immediate effect also advises all those involved to hand over government property in their possession to permanent secretaries who have been mandated to take charge.

Governor Ngilari was sworn-in on Wednesday after a Federal High Court in Abuja sacked the Acting Governor, Ahmadu Fintiri and ordered him to take over.

The court, in its ruling, said that the Adamawa State Deputy Governor, Mr Bala Ngilari, did not resign his position before the former governor Murtala Nyako was impeached.

The court has also declared that the swearing in of former Acting Governor, Umaru Fintiri, was illegal and unconstitutional and ordered the immediate vacation of the Government House by the Acting Governor

The court also ruled that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should not conduct the by-election slated for October 11.

Mr Fintiri was sworn-in as the Acting Governor after the House impeached the state governor, Murtala Nyako, on allegations of financial impropriety against him and his deputy, Bala Ngilari.

Umaru Fintiri To Appeal Court Ruling Ordering His Removal As Acting Governor

High_courtThe former acting Governor of Adamawa State, Mr Umaru Fintiri, has said he will appeal the ruling of a Federal High Court In Abuja that ordered his removal and the immediate swearing-in of the former deputy governor, Mr Bala Ngilari, as the governor of the state.

A lawyer to Mr Fintiri, Mr Bayo Ojo, said in a statement on Wednesday that he had been instructed to file an appeal.

Mr Ojo also said that in addition to the appeal he had also filed a motion for stay of the orders of the court until the hearing of the appeal.

The implication of the papers filed by his client, according to Mr Ojo, is that the orders of the court cannot be complied with until the appeal process is disposed of.

“This is the position of the law as the law allows anyone who is challenging an order of a court not to obey such order until his constitutional right of appeal is exhausted,” the statement read.

According to Mr Ojo, the motion for stay of the orders will help forestall a situation where the court’s ruling will be impose on the appeal court.

He said that even though he disagreed with the reasoning of the learned judge, he would not, out of respect for the court, comment on the merits of the case.

“The whole world knows that the former deputy governor did actually resigned through his two letters of resignation to the speaker and the former governor separately,” he said.

Bala Ngilari Sworn-in As Adamawa State Governor

Ngilari NewMr Bala Ngilari has been sworn-in as the Governor of Adamawa State in line with a court ruling that his resignation process did not follow laid down procedure in the Nigerian constitution.

While taking his oath of office on Wednesday, Mr Ngilari pledged to preserve, protect and defend  the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

After the swearing-in ceremony, Governor Ngilari expressed optimism that he would be able to carry along all indigenes of the state, irrespective of their political affiliations.

He also pledged his loyalty to the President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan.

“I pledge to run an open government, transparent and an all-inclusive one that will give hope to our women, the aged and guaranty the future of our youth.

“In this regard, I invite other arms of government, in particular, the legislature and the judiciary, not forgetting the civil service, to join hands with me to achieve this notable and noble course,” he said in his acceptance speech.

A Federal High Court in Abuja had ruled on Wednesday morning that Mr Umaru Fintiri, the Acting Governor, was occupying the position illegally and ordered his immediate vacation of the Government House.

The court ordered the Chief Judge of Adamawa State to immediately swear-in Mr Bala Ngilari as the Governor of the State.

In its ruling, the court said Mr Ngilari, did not resign his position before the former governor Murtala Nyako was impeached.

The court also ruled that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should not conduct the by-election slated for October 11.

Also, the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of Nigeria, Mr Mohammed Adoke, on Wednesday called on the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) to obey the judgement of the court by suspending all the arrangements made for the conduct of a by-election scheduled to take place in Adamawa State on Saturday October 11.

Adamawa Governorship Battle: Ngilari’s Resignation Still Stands – Lawyer

Morrison_QuakersA Legal Practitioner, Norrison Quakers, says the resignation letter of the Deputy Governor of Adamawa State, Bala Ngilari, still stands, as it was voluntary. 

On Channels Television’s programme, Sunrise Daily, on Friday, Mr Quakers hinged his statement on the resignation letter of the Deputy Governor which was handed over to the speaker of the State House of Assembly before the impeachment of the Governor,  Murtala Nyako.

Mr Quakers questioned why it took the former deputy governor a long while after the impeachment of the governor before he realised that the governor’s seat was vacant.

“Why did it take him several months to wake up to the realisation that there is vacancy. Where was he when the governor was at the impeachment proceedings?” He questioned.

Quakers, stressed that the letter still stands since it was a voluntary action of the deputy, emphasising that it does not matter who he gave the letter to, but the fact still remains that the “deputy governor has written a letter and he is as good as gone”.

Backing his statement, he stated  that the constitution approved of the vacancy of the governorship position since the deputy governor resigned, an act he stressed made it possible for the Speaker of the House of Assembly to be sworn in.

“The constitution as it is, even though, is not a perfect document has provision for situations like we are experiencing currently in Adamawa State. The constitution, in section 191 stipulates what should be done if there is vacancy in the office. In all of this, the aspect of resignation is personal to the occupant or occupier of that office.

“Ordinarily the deputy governor should have stepped in after the governor’s impeachment. In the absence of the governor, the deputy acts  as governor until the House of the Assembly gives a go ahead to swear him in,” he explained.

He stressed that  Politicians in Nigeria, needed to be honourable, expressing disappointment with the deputy governor’s plan to return to the Government House after his resignation letter was made public.

“After the governor was impeached, a lot of us expected the deputy governor to be sworn in, only for us to hear he actually resigned. Now how come he is suddenly turning around to say that he never actually resigned.

“We should be honorable in this country. Did he leave the office? Yes he actually left the office,” Mr Quakers stressed.

He said that the former deputy governor apparently decided that rather than being subjected to an impeachment proceedings, he should resign.

“Now the deputy may have thought that a man who resigned can no longer be impeached, but governance is not by compulsion,” he insisted.

 

 

INEC Sets October 11 For Adamawa Governorship Election

INEC_Nigeria_adamawaThe  Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has announced October 11, 2014, as the date for the governorship election in Adamawa State, this was contained in statement issued by the state’s Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Kasim Gaidam.

The former governor, Murtala Nyako, was impeached by the State House of Assembly after he was found guilty of all 16 charges levelled against him by the lawmakers.

The ex-Deputy Governor, Bala Ngilari had resigned moments before the impeachment, paving the way for the speaker of the state assembly, Umaru Fintiri, to take over as acting governor.

APC Chairman says PDP Fuelling Impeachment To Crush Opposition

John-OyegunThe National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr John Odigie-Oyegun, has faulted the impeachment of the Adamawa State Governor, Admiral Murtal Nyako, saying it is a desperate attempt by the ruling People’s Democratic Party to crush credible opposition Parties.

Addressing a news conference in Abuja, on Wednesday, Mr Odigie-Oyegun said events in Nigeria in the past few weeks pointed to a return of the dark old days of state dictatorship, lawlessness, impunity and repression.

The party said the impeachment of Governor Nyako was fraught with irregularities, bias, judicial contradictions and violated every procedural and constitutional provisions as it was the worst manifestation of impunity.

At the briefing, the immediate past Governor of Kwara State, Senator Bukola Saraki, said that the party would challenge this gross injustice to the party and people of Adamawa State.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Chairman of the APC Governors Forum and the Governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha, condemned the impeachment, insisting that “it is not what Nigeria needed at a time it is trying to tackle insecurity in the northeast.

The governor was impeached by the members of the State National Assembly on Tuesday on allegations of financial impropriety against him and his deputy.

 

Nyako’s Impeachment Has Been Long Overdue- Group

Panny_BogaA member of the Save Adamawa Group, Mr Panny Boga, has commended the Adamawa State House of Assembly for impeaching the state governor, describing the impeachment “as long overdue and the best thing that has happened to Adamawa State”.

Mr Boga said the impeachment has vindicated the group, who had earlier accused the governor of 12 of the 20 allegations levelled against him by the State House of Assembly.

“Out of all the impeachable offences, 20 of them raised, 12 were the issues that we raised earlier, adding that “having him impeached at this time, to me is something that has been long overdue and is the best thing that has happened to Adamawa State”.

Debunking claims that there is more than meets the allegations that led to the impeachment, 7 years after Mr Nyako was sworn into power, Mr Boga noted that “this is not the first time” the former governor was handed an impeachment notice “only that this time around it succeeded”, he said.

He noted that “in June 2008, to be precise, he was also served with impeachment notice by a different set of members of the House of Assembly listing 20 allegations” insisting that “the man was a failure”.

Mr Boga denied that the impeachment plot was instituted because of Mr Nyako’s change of political party, wondering why such plots are yet to be in place for governors of Sokoto (Aliyu Magatakarda Wammako) and Kano (Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso), insisting that his “movement to All Progressives Congress (APC) has nothing to do with the monumental corruption Nyako is involved in and I think it is on that basis that members of the House of Assembly actually impeached him.

“It is not on the basis of whether he has moved to any other party; in any case, he is not the only People’s Democratic Party (PDP) governor that moved to the APC. Why is Wamako stil there? Why is Kwankwanso still there?, no impeachment procedure has been instituted against them, he maintained.

Mr Boga said the “people of Adamawa State should be given a medal for being the most patient human beings to have endured Nyako for even 7 years”.

Further buttressing his point that the impeachment was based on the facts presented to the members of the State House of Assembly, Mr Boga argued that “if it were a party affair, the members would have left the Deputy Governor, Bala Ngilari, alone”.

He also noted that the former governor would have been impeached in 2008 but for appeals by stakeholders of the party at that time, who intervened and botched the impeachment saga and blamed the former governor of not carrying the people of Adamawa along in his government for his impeachment.

Acting Governor Sworn-In

Meanwhile, the Adamawa State House of Assembly’s speaker, Umaru Fintiri, has been sworn-in as the Acting Governor after the House impeached the state governor, Murtala Nyako, on allegations of financial impropriety levelled against him and his deputy, Bala Ngilari.

The governor was impeached on Tuesday by the lawmakers after reviewing the report of a panel of inquiry set up to investigate the allegations against him and his deputy.

Earlier, the state Deputy Governor, Bala Ngilari, resigned from office to avoid being impeached.

Mr Ngilari’s resignation letter was read at plenary by the speaker of the Assembly, Umaru Fintiri, after which the lawmakers approved it.

The seven man panel, chaired by Mr Bala Kaigama, who submitted the report to the speaker, observed that the panel encountered initial problem of having a venue for sitting but eventually overcame the challenge and produced four volumes of the report on allegations levelled against the governor and the deputy.

Don’t Misuse Power, Atiku Tells PDP

A former Vice-President, Atiku Abubakar, on Tuesday (July 15) warned the PDP-led Federal Government against what he described as ‘‘excessive use of power’’, which Atiku said was not good for decent democratic practice.

The ex-VP, who was reacting to the impeachment of Nyako, said in a statement issued by his media office in Abuja that wielding the axe of impeachment against elected public office holders in order to settle scores by the Federal Government would needlessly build up tension in the country.

The former Vice-President said, “The reckless use of impeachment to settle scores could not have been the intention of the framers of the 1999 Constitution. The frequency with which elective officials were being shot down by impeachment would destroy the whole purpose of inserting the impeachment clause in the Constitution.

“The use of impeachment to harass and humiliate perceived opponents by the PDP-led Federal Government would ultimately bastardise the spirit in which the constitution provides for the impeachment clause.”

He admonished the Federal Government to take it easy in the way they use power, adding that “the constitution was not meant to provide ammo for anybody to harass and humiliate opponents or force them out of office.”

He also criticised the use of financial inducements to influence the removal of perceived opponents from office.

Nyako’s Impeachment Adds No Value To Nation’s Growth

The All Progressives Congress (APC) says the impeachment of the Adamawa State governor, Murtala Nyako, has no iota of value to add to the Nigeria’s growth and development, and even to the progress of Adamawa State.

In a statement by the chairman of the APC Governors Forum, Mr Rochas Okorocha, released hours after the impeachment on Tuesday, the party stressed that the impeachment of the governor was not what the country needed at a period it is faced with serious security challenges.

Governor Okorocha expressed surprise that in spite of appeals and steps taken by patriotic leaders across the country to make the members of the Adamawa State House of Assembly review their impeachment move against the governor, with a view to resolving whatever was the bone of contention, the legislators still carried out the impeachment.

“What the nation needs most this time should be ideas, unity of purpose and patriotism to deal decisively with the lingering security problems threatening our nationhood and not actions that would further inject bad blood among the leaders of this country and the citizenry in general.

“The impeachment of the Adamawa State Governor and similar impeachment threats against the governors of Nasarawa, Edo, Rivers and so on, could be explained as bad politics of intimidation aimed at stifling the APC as a party and threatening our nascent democracy,” the statement read.

The APC insisted that the impeachment was not a good image laundering for Nigeria, saying it will not encourage other nations willing to help Nigeria come out of the security problem to take the nation serious.