16 July 2014

Nigeria: Governor Nyako Impeached

Photo: Deutsche Welle
Governor Murtala Nyako.

Yola — Admiral Murtala Hamman Yero Nyako was impeached as Adamawa State governor yesterday following the adoption by the State House of Assembly of the report of the panel that investigated corruption allegations against him and his deputy.

His removal came few minutes after Deputy Governor Bala James Ngillari tendered his resignation, apparently to avoid impeachment.

At an extra-ordinary session in Yola, attended by 17 of the 25 members of the House, the State Assembly debated and approved the probe panel report, which found Nyako guilty of the corruption accusations.

The report was submitted to the House on Monday by the panel that was constituted earlier this month by the then state Acting Chief Judge Ambrose Mammadi.

When the session started in the House yesterday, member representing Gombi constituency, Mr Jerry Kumdisi, moved a motion for the adoption of the panel report, and he was seconded by his Numan counterpart, Mr Kwamoti Laori.

Mr Kumdisi quoted section 188 sub section 9 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) which stated that the House can deliberate on the report within 14 days of its submission.

For his part, Mr Laori tendered the signatures of 18 lawmakers who he said supported the removal of Nyako. They include that of the member representing Yola North constituency who did not attend the sitting.

The Speaker of the House, Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri, stated that the panel's report has proved 16 of the 20 allegations levelled against Nyako after counsel to the House abandoned four other accusations.

After verifying the signatures of the 17 members, Ahmadu Fintiri declared the governor duly removed from office based on the provisions of the 1999 Constitution.

"By the provision of section 188 sub section 9 of the 1999 Constitution as amended I declare the governor of Adamawa State Murtala Hamman Yero Nyako, GCON, removed from office," the speaker said.

Earlier on, Deputy Governor Bala Ngillari submitted a letter of resignation to the lawmakers, citing personal reasons. The letter was read by the speaker and accepted by the House after a brief deliberation.

The House also passed a resolution for the swearing in of the speaker as the Acting Governor in the absence of both the governor and the deputy governor. The resolution added that in the absence of a Chief Judge in the state, the President of the Customary Court of Appeal should swear in the Acting Governor.

In a reaction, Nyako's spokesman Ahmad Sajoh said the impeached governor would challenge the process of his impeachment in court.

He appealed to the people of the state to be a law abiding and avoid any action that could lead to break down of law and order.

There was heavy security at the Assembly premises during the impeachment proceedings. Riot policemen were seen guarding the Assembly building and surrounding areas while police snipers took positions on the roof of the building.

Security was also beefed up in the state capital Yola, as soldiers and riot policemen, using armoured personnel carriers, deployed at strategic locations.

But there was no unusual security presence at the Government House or at Nyako's personal residence in Yola. Nyako has been away in Abuja since Sunday.

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