Posted by News Express | 12 July 2014 | 3,613 times
Governor Murtala Nyako of Adamawa State and his Deputy, Bala James Ngillari, may have given up hope of averting their impeachment as the two men yesterday refused to appear before the seven-man investigative panel on allegations of gross misconduct and misappropriation leveled against them by the state’s House of Assembly.
The panel constituted last week by the acting Chief Judge of the state, Justice Ambrose Mammadi, had invited Nyako and his deputy to the conference hall of the Federal Secretariat, Yola, venue of its sitting, but was stunned when they refused to appear.
However, the Chairman of the panel, Malam Buba Kaigama, said he was not bothered by the absence of Nyako and his deputy. He said he and his members had resolved to carry out their constitutional duties to logical conclusion.
Kaigama promised that the panel would be fair to all the parties involved in the dispute.
Kaigama also apologised for the late commencement of sitting by the panel, which he attributed to lack of venue.
However, the Director of Press and Public Affairs to the Governor, Mallam Ahmad Sajoh, said Nyako snubbed the panel because “it is a product of illegality as all the processes followed before setting up the panel run contrary to the provisions of the law.”
Sajoh alleged that the service of the notice of gross misconduct against his principal through the media “is against a subsisting verdict of a High Court which had passed similar ruling preventing a substituted service.”
Sajoh said: “The constitution of the panel is also against the Yola High Court verdict. The above reasons made the governor not to honour the invitation of the panel as doing that is like supporting illegality.”
Another aide of the governor, Mr. P. P. Elisha said that the legitimacy of the seven-man panel was questionable.
Elisha said that the panel was going beyond its boundary by pasting the notice of hearing on the wall instead of serving the governor personally or though his secretary.
He said: “Governor Nyako who is a custodian of Nigeria constitution cannot subject himself to an illegal panel.”
Despite Nyako’s absence, the investigative panel swiftly went into action yesterday by taking evidence from the complainants.
While presenting the matter before the panel, counsel to the complainants (Adamawa State House of Assembly) Chief Duro Adeyede, SAN, submitted 23 exhibits against Nyako including a video clip. He also submitted six exhibits against the deputy governor, all of which the panel accepted.
During his examination by the counsel to the complainants, witness to the House of Assembly and Chairman House Committee on Public Accounts, Mr. Wafarniyi Theman, identified all the exhibits tendered before the panel as the true certified copies preferred by the house against the governor and his deputy.
When asked what he wanted the panel to do, Theman said he wanted the panel to investigate the allegations of gross misconduct brought by the House of Assembly against Nyako and his deputy and to declare whether the governor and his deputy were guilty of the charges or not.
In view of the failure of the governor and his deputy to attend or send a representative, the chairman of the panel said he would forward fresh notices of hearing to the two men.
The panel subsequently adjourned till tomorrow to enable it watch the video clips presented as part of evidence by the counsel the complainant as well as to cross examine the parties involved.
In a related development, Peoples Democratic Party’s stakeholders in the state have threatened to sanction any lawmaker who withdraws from the impeachment plot against Nyako and his deputy.
The spokesman of the stakeholders’ forum, Dr. Umar Ardo said yesterday: “We at a point that none of our 20 lawmakers who earlier signed the impeachment notice will be allowed to withdraw.”
When asked to comment on the reconciliatory moves by Nyako, Dr. Ardo said: “The party is not aware of any meeting held by Nyako and the lawmakers. Even if there is such a meeting, the lawmakers need to take directives from the party.
In a related development, a group called “The Concerned Adamawa Youths” has endorsed the planned impeachment of Nyako and his deputy.
In a press release signed on behalf of the group by Dunuba Daniel, Leader Leneke and Yusuf Ngenle, the youths said they were disenchanted with the Nyako/Ngillari administration.
The embattled governor had consistently debunked allegations of gross misconduct leveled against his administration, saying that he would be the most concerned if financial misappropriation was carried out in his administration.
He further assured that should there be any case of fraud, he would assist the legislators to expose it in order to entrench good governance.
However, the governor said after understudying the situation, he came to the conclusion that all the commissions and omissions raised, were not the type that would lead somebody to court to prove whether he is guilty or not.
•Text courtesy of THISDAY. Photo shows Governor Nyako.
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