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Impeachment: Nyako declares public holiday

The move to impeach Adamawa State Governor, Alhaji Murtala Nyako, took a dramatic turn on Sunday as the governor declared Monday and Tuesday as work-free days in the state.

The governor’s opponents in the state House of Assembly said Nyako’s action was an attempt to frustrate his impeachment.

The governor was said to have played a fast one on his opponents following indications that the Acting Chief Judge of the state, Justice Ambrose Mammadi, might inaugurate on Monday (today) the seven-member panel he set up on Friday to investigate the allegations of gross misconduct levelled against the governor and his deputy, James Ngilari.

The lawmakers accused Nyako of mischief, vowing that the governor and his deputy could not stop the state acting chief judge.

A statement on Sunday by Nyako’s Chief of Staff, A. Abba, stated, “His Excellency, Governor Murtala Nyako, has approved Monday, July 7 and Tuesday, July 8 as work-free days in Adamawa State.

“This is to enable the people of the state to reflect on the current happenings in the country and to use the period to offer special prayers for peace in the state and the country.

“The period is to also allow Adamawa workers reflect on their current challenges. It is also a thanksgiving period for the citizens to appreciate God’s protection despite all challenges.”

But the Deputy Majority Leader of the House, Mr. Adamu Kamale, told one of our correspondents on the phone that the governor was merely ‘mischievous’ by declaring the public holidays.

Kamale said, “The issue now is not before the House. There may be mischief to this in whichever way you look at it. But, already, the (acting) Chief Judge has set up the seven-man panel to investigate the governor and his deputy and there is no way they can block the CJ.

“In addition, praying to God is supposed to be a daily affair as most of our religions are practising it. For two days to be set aside as praying days, well I don’t know his intention. I will have to read the statement, probably I can pick something from it.”

The governor however alleged that the acting chief judge had set up the seven-man committee under duress.

Speaking through his Director of Press and Media, Ahmad Sajoh, in a telephone interview with one of our correspondents from Yola, the governor said that the promoters of the impeachment move were not law-abiding.

“The Acting Chief Judge constituted the panel under duress. If not, how can the same judge who gave a ruling that there was no substituted service, the same judge that gave an order that the process be stopped; be the same judge that set up this panel when he is yet to vacate his earlier order? You know that is not possible,” Sajoh said.

According to him, the governor is heading a law-abiding government who still holds the judiciary in high esteem and he is prepared to submit himself to the judicial process.

Sajoh, however, expressed concern that it had become obvious that promoters of the impeachment plot were determined not to obey the courts because by their actions, they have so far demonstrated a disdain for the judiciary.

But Kamale said there was nothing unusual about the development.

He explained that the House was carrying out its functions in line with laid down constitutional procedures in such matters.

Kamale told The PUNCH that members of the House were determined to follow through with the process.

“We have been following what the constitution says. Since we began this process, we have never had any talks with any individual or group; we have been following the process as prescribed by the constitution. We are on course,” he said.

Meanwhile, the governor and the Ahmadu Fintiri-led State House of Assembly are set to return to court over the propriety or otherwise of the moves by the legislators to impeach Nyako and Ngilari.

The PUNCH learnt in Abuja, on Sunday, that a Lagos-based lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN), had been approached by Nyako and his supporters to handle the governor’s case.

The House leadership, which is said to enjoy the support of powerful political interests in Abuja, is also shopping for a prominent lawyer to counter Falana.

Our correspondents also learnt that the top hierarchy of the opposition All Progressives Congress had also intervened in the matter.

It is still unclear what exactly the APC leaders are doing but it was learnt that they were determined to ensure that Nyako did not go down without a fight.

The National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who confirmed the intervention of party leaders, said what the party was doing was not meant for the pages of newspapers.

However, The PUNCH learnt on Sunday that the soldiers deployed in the residence of the Acting Chief Judge were still keeping vigil over the property.

A source who pleaded anonymity for fear of retribution said, “The issue we are dealing with has gone beyond local politics. You know the Chief of Defence Staff, who is from this state, and the National Security Adviser has become involved.”

It was also learnt that leading members of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party from the state, including a former national chairman of the party, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur; former Political Adviser to the President, Ahmed Gulak; and Senator Jibril Aminu met in Abuja on Saturday night to devise a counter strategy to whatever the APC had been preparing to save the governor.

The members of the panel to probe the governor, as announced by the acting CJ, are Buba Kaimaga (Chairman), Laraba Hassan, Njidda Kito, Joshua Abu, Binanu Esthon, Sa’ad Lawan, Mayo-Belwa, and Esthon Gapsiso.


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Posted by on Jul 7 2014. Filed under Adamawa, Headlines, State News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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