Former Governor of Adamawa State, James Ngilari, has been charged and remanded in custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The detention was ordered on Tuesday in a ruling by Justice Nathan Musa at a High Court in Yola, the state’s capital in northeast Nigeria.
The EFCC had charged Mr Ngilari for violation of procurement laws in the award of contract of 167 million Naira to one El-Yadi Motors Limited for supply of 25 units of operational vehicles (Toyota Corolla).
The Commission had instituted a 19-count charge against Ngilari, his former Secretary to the State Government, Ibrahim Welye and his former Commissioner of Finance and Budget, Sanda Lamurde.
The EFCC also accused them of conspiracy, lack of “No Objection Certificate”, no competitive bidding and others in procurement process.
The three pleaded not guilty and their lawyers applied for bail on their behalf, but the the prosecution opposed that appeal.
The court then ruled that they should be remanded in custody of the EFCC while the judge adjourned until Wednesday for ruling on the bail application.
The Governor of Adamawa State, Muhammad Umaru Jibrilla, has kicked against the complete withdrawal of the military in the areas recovered from the Boko Haram Sect.
He insisted that military presence should still remain in the state.
The Governor made the comment on Saturday when the Ministerial Committee on the Restoration of Civil Authority, led by Major General Fatai Oladipo of the Nigerian Army, met in his office in Yola.
Speaking to Channels Television after the meeting, Governor Jibrilla appealed for a gradual withdrawal of the military.
After the meeting with the Governor, the committee scheduled a meeting with representatives of communities in the state.
At the meeting, talks will focus on what their problems are and how to restore normalcy in the areas, the withdrawal of the military and the establishment of civil authorities in recovered territories from insurgents in the state.
Other members of the committee are drawn from the Nigerian Air force, Directorate of Secret Services, Serving and retired, the Nigeria Police Force and the Human rights Commission.
President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday decorated brave war heroes with a Purple Heart medal, an award given to troops who fought for six months under ‘Operation Lafiya Dole’.
The decoration of the soldiers took place in Yola, during President Buhari’s visit to the State.
President Buhari, on arrival, was received at the Yola International Airport by the Governor of Adamawa State, Senator Mohammad Umaru Jibrilla, the Speaker of the House of Representatives Yakubu Dogara and other dignitaries including a former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar.
The President inspected a guard of honour by the 23rd Armoured Brigade of the Nigeria Army after which he was invited by the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur Buratai, to present the medals to the wounded soldiers.
After decorating the soldiers with the medals, President Buhari expressed his confidence on their ability to end the activities of Boko Haram terrorists in the oil-rich nation’s north-east.
Visit To IDPs Camp In Yola
After the medal presentation, the President visited the Malkohi Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp in Yola in the southern part of Adamawa State.
He told the IDPs that the Boko Haram terrorists do not represent any religion, stressing that the terror group is set to disintegrate Nigeria.
President Buhari described the condition of the IDPs as unfortunate and called on them to remain calm, as the government was working towards returning them to their homes.
The President said: “The government is proactive about rebuilding your Schools, hospitals and homes”.
The chairman of IDPs in Malkohi IDPs camp, Mr Nicholas Samuel, thanked the Federal and State governments for coming to their aid and appealed to the President to facilitate their return to their homes.
Governor Jibrilla had earlier told the President that one of the major concerns of the State government was the welfare and wellbeing of the displaced persons.
The Director General of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mr Sani Sidi, told the President that at present, the camp had 80 pregnant women and 175 unaccompanied children.
Governor Jibrilla, who convened an Emergency Security Committee meeting shortly after receiving a Federal Government delegation led by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr David Lawal, on Saturday October 24.
The meeting, which lasted several hours, took far reaching decisions which include the need to intensify prayers and massive Public Enlightenment among many others.
In attendance were His Royal Highness the Lamido Adamawa Dr. Muhammad Mustapha, all the Service Commanders in Yola, Chairman Adamawa State House of Assembly Committee on Security, the Attorney-General of the State, the Chief of Staff to the Governor and the Commissioner for Information.
The meeting reviewed the security situation in the state taking note of attacks on isolated communities in Madagali Local Government Area as well as the Jambutu bombing.
A statement by the Commissioner for Information, Ahmad Sajoh, said “it was observed that these desperate acts of cowardly attacks on soft target are as a result of the fact that the insurgents have been degraded as a fighting force and have also been smoked out of their hiding places”.
The meeting resolved to step-up Public Enlightenment in the state using conventional media as well as traditional media such as public address vans, town criers, posters, handbills in addition to the use of radio and television Jingles.
Security alertness was considered paramount, with the public encouraged to partner with security forces in mounting vigorous vigilance in all communities in Adamawa State.
The meeting resolved that all traditional rulers the state must be engaged in the process of community policing.
“Traditional Rulers were to support Government and the Security Agencies in public enlightenment, monitoring movements, identifying strange persons and coordinating the activities of local vigilantes and hunters within communities,” the statement read.
Abuse Of Drug And Criminal Activities
The meeting also called for constant prayers in all communities including Special Eid Prayers by Muslims and Special Crusades by Christian groups to seek God’s intervention in the process of securing communities in the state.
Another very serious issue discussed was the connection between abuse of drug related substances and criminal activities including terrorism.
The meeting resolved to equally combat drug abuse and include issues of drug abuse in all public enlightenment matters.
It was further resolved that the youth would form a special target in formulating policies on security.
At the end of the meeting, it was agreed that an expanded security committee involving Service Commanders, Traditional Rulers and Religious Leaders would be convened by the Governor to re-design a new Security Architecture for the state.
“This is to be a matter of urgency so as to actualise community policing, increased vigilance, intensified prayer sessions and Public Enlightenment.
“The Commissioner for Information is to equally convene a meeting of all Media Executives and other stakeholders including NOA to create a blueprint for Public Awareness in the state,” the statement further read.
The Governor of Adamawa State, Jibrila Bindow, has condemned Friday’s bomb explosion at an Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp in Yola, the state capital, saying it was cruel and inhuman.
The attack believed to have been carried out by the Boko Haram insurgents left at least three persons dead while nine others were injured.
In an interview with Channels Television in Kaduna, the Governor described the incident as ‘most cruel, evil and inhuman’, wondering why some ‘unscrupulous elements’ could plant a bomb inside an IDPs camp, without considering the sufferings the people were passing through, as a result of attacks by the terrorist group.
He expressed his deep condolences to the families and friends of all affected victims, praying that those who sustained injuries would recover quickly.
The Governor was in Kaduna State for a northern governors’ meeting aimed at fashioning out a strategy that would help end insurgency, poverty and improve literacy level in the region that has been devastated by over five years of insurgency.
Governor Bindow also commended the Nigerian military for their efforts to decimate the insurgents in the north-east.
He also commended President Muhammadu Buhari for boosting the morale of the troops.
The immediate past Chief of the Defence Staff, Air Marshal Alexander Badeh (Rtd), has returned to his home state of Adamawa to a rousing welcome amidst tight security.
On his arrival at the Yola International Airport, Air Marshal Alexander Badeh was received by the Governor of Adamawa State, Mohammed Umaru Jibrilla, top government personalities and a large crowd of well-wishers.
The former Defence boss later addressed the press in his hilltop residence in Yola were he thanked God for a successful service, describing it as challenging and rewarding.
Alexander Badeh promised to contribute his quota to the development of not only Adamawa State but Nigeria as a whole.
Alex Badeh served as the Chief of Defense Staff between January 2014 and July 2015, when President Muhammadu Buhari appointed new service chiefs.
This has been considered a turbulent period in the history of the Nigerian military as insurgency in the northeast brought it under several criticism.
The 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.
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.
The Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Lagos State, Tunji Shelle has explained reasons why the former National Chairman of the ruling party, Bamanga Tukur, had denied his impending resignation on different occasions despite the high-powered meetings which took place to determine the party’s fate, in the light of its dwindling membership.
“He said it because of his personal convictions that he was doing the right thing. He was protecting PDP. He was protecting Mr President,” Shelle said.
Mr Tukur, who assumed the position in March 2012, vacated the office on Thursday as announced by President Goodluck Jonathan. However, the resignation which Mr Shelle said was not forced but took time to be concretised.
“It took a lot of time. It took a lot of calculations. It took a lot of wisdom. It took a lot of meetings from the caucus level to the BoT level and then before they brought it to the NEC level,” Shelle explained.
He further described the former chairman as a ‘good man’ who had strong convictions in his beliefs but concerning all the issues which led to his resignation, “age was not on his side.”
Mr Shelle who was present at the NEC meeting, where the decision was reached, told Channels Television while speaking on Sunrise Daily that the decision of the PDP leadership was an agreed one.
He added that the former Chairman was not forced into resigning as there were several consultations and meetings at different levels of the organisation. State Chairmen of the Party had also stated that the Chairman should step down in the interest of the party
“When your soldiers are no longer behind you, definitely you would know that the time is up.”
He added that “I wouldn’t blame him. He had a personal conviction that he was doing the right thing but we thought otherwise because we were losing members.”
“Alhaji Bamanga Turkur is a good man. He has enormous wisdom, He has dexterity. He has seen it all..
“He felt certain people were digging deep to cause mayhem in the party so he maintained his personal belief… but later all of us realized that his approach was not healthy.”
Shelle also addressed former members of the party who joined the opposition party, All Progressives Congress (APC), to return as the APC does not present them the best ‘environment.’ According to the politician, it is likely that the decampees would return “because the opposition party is not the best environment for them.”
“The best option for them now is to retrace their steps,” he stated, adding that “APC has not redefined itself and has not given enough reasons for people to join them.”
On the alleged battle of wills between the former Chairman and the Governor of Adamawa State, Murtala Nyako, who was among the five governors that decamped to the APC, Mr Shelle said “they have one grouse or the other with each other.”
“When we newly came in, the first problem we had was that the EXCO of Adamawa was not properly constituted” and “the Chairman took a unilateral decision without carrying the National Working Committee along.”
He expressed belief that the PDP would be stronger than it was. “We have learnt our lessons of redefining our goals, working together as a team and focusing on the development of the nation,” he noted.
Senior Special Adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan on Public Affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe on Monday morning lambasted leaders and members of the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC).
Following several events, including the call for the President’s impeachment, based on allegations leveled against him in a letter written by former president Olusegun Obasanjo and the defection of 5 governors and 37 lawmakers to the APC, Mr Okupe described all attempts at discrediting the present administration as coming from ‘desperate failures’ who want the Presidency to go to the North.
“Every time they (APC) need a national figure as a leader or anytime they want to play national politics, they don’t have it among themselves. They went to look for Ribadu, Atiku, now (it’s) Tambuwal or (somebody) Obasanjo,” he said, referring to a meeting the APC leaders had with Obasanjo on Saturday.
He tagged the party as ‘unserious’ for admitting members who they (APC) had accused of corruption. “Before, Kwankwaso is a thief. Now if he joins APC, he’s a saint,” he said.
“Right now they are mute on manifesto, mute on programme. All they are doing is collecting all collectibles, irrespective of those who were formerly regarded as criminals, e.g Kwankwaso.
On the defection of five former PDP governors to the opposition party, he said it is “good riddance” for PDP and accused them of not being democrats.
“These are people who are irrevocably committed to a particular ideology. They want the Presidency to go to the north by all means. These are not democrats.”
Following the defection of 37 lawmakers, analysts have noted the possibility of the APC being the majority in the National Assembly but according to Okupe, it is a ‘dream’ the APC would never realize.
“Majority in the NASS is a dream they have. They are not likely to gain a majority in any of the Houses.”
He backed-up his assertion with confirmation that the PDP has strong ties with other parties. “PDP has working alliance and working arrangement with Labour Party, APGA, Accord Party and they are not small numbers.”
Although he claimed not to have ever condemned the APC for looking for members in the PDP, he defined a political party worth considering as one which has “within itself the human resources that is required to develop and instill sense of confidence in voters”.
“Check out APC, they have no story to tell. It is quite embarrassing, I am shocked. A new party formed with so much fanfare. They have no story to tell. What you would have expected would have been that this party that knows that it is in opposition, if it must defeat an incumbent, ought to be moving all over the place talking about manifesto, talking about what they would do differently from what is being done.”
“They (defected governors) are outgoing (as they have served two tenures already). These are governors that are not popular in their states.
He made an example of the Governor of Adamawa State, Murtala Nyako. “Nyako is of no consequence in Adamawa. We had to beg the whole of Adamawa, Jubril Aminu, Atiku Abubakar, Bamanga Tukur (everybody that was anybody in Adamawa), to help shore up support for Nyako to win the second term.”
He added that it was not the party’s fault but Nyako’s ‘person.’ “It’s not his fault. He’s never been a politician. It was General Obasanjo (Rtd) who went and called him from his farm. He didn’t take part in any primary. He didn’t win any election. He didn’t campaign to anybody. They finished the primaries in Adamawa.”
Obasanjo just called him and said you are the governor.”
As for the defected PDP lawmakers, they have lost their seats already. It’s a matter of time, he said.
He continued by saying they are no longer legislators insisting that “if it was during Obasanjo’s time, they would have put policemen at the gate. They would not allow them to enter and it would be right.”
“The law says that you in the National Assembly cannot cross-carpet, leave your party to another party, unless there is division in your party.
We have a court judgment that says there’s no division in PDP and the court says it does not recognise the new PDP.”
People flagrantly disobey the law and shamelessly declare themselves as members of another party, he said.
Buhari And Bola Tinubu: Still Thinking In The Past
While speaking on the programme, Okupe faulted the APC’s attempts at gaining numbers by poaching on PDP territory and blamed the leaders for not being up to date on the new era of politics.
“Politics has changed since the era of digital communication and the emancipation of a lot of our young people,” he said, noting that “the leadership of the APC, (Buhari and Bola Tinubu), are still thinking in the past.”
Okupe attributed the APC gain in south-west Nigeria to internal wrangling in the PDP. “PDP messed itself up,” he said.
On the fear of Nigerians in diaspora regarding the 2015 elections, which many say would be grappled with desperation, Okupe said: “I am not going to judge what will happen in Nigeria by the perception of foreigners.”
What Nigerians need to do is to appeal to these desperate people (particularly the APC), not to employ desperate measures. He advised members of the APC to talk to Nigerians and then head to the polls for the outcome.
He pegged the impeachment plan which has been supported by the APC as an “attempt by desperate failures.”