Impeachment: Panel indicts Nyako

There were indications last night that the panel raised by the Adamawa State House of Assembly to probe the allegations of misappropriation of funds had indicted the state governor, Murtala Nyako. Also, the panel might have cleared his deputy, Bala James Ngilari. The panel is expected to submit its report to the state House of Assembly today.

It was also gathered that the embattled governor was already considering defecting to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, as that remained the only option to escape the impeachment noose hanging on his neck. Erstwhile governor of Borno State, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, Vanguard learnt, yesterday, had defected to the PDP and is set to storm Maiduguri, the state capital for a briefing with his supporters today.

A top government official, who is privy to the work of the seven-man panel, confided in Vanguard that the report concluded that Nyako was guilty and should be removed but did not indict Ngilari.

The source said: “What we have is that the panel has already passed a guilty verdict on the governor but we have not heard anything concerning the deputy governor.

“In any case, the verdict of the panel, which was set up under duress is not surprising to the governor since we had already known and seen their handwriting on the wall before they began their work,” the official said.

Apparently angered and jostled by the verdict of the panel, the governor, Vanguard learnt, has already filed an appeal at the Abuja Division of the Appeal Court against the procedure adopted by the House of Assembly to impeach him.

In the appeal, which New Sentinel learnt, is being handled by a fiery Lagos-based lawyer, Nyako is challenging the violation of the impeachment procedure as outlined in Section 188 of the 1999 Constitution.

In the main, the governor is claiming that it was a violation of the law for the lawmakers not to personally serve him the notice of impeachment as enshrined in the law but went ahead with the proceedings without satisfying the vital condition.

Nyako challenges CJ Mammadi

Similarly, the governor is challenging the decision of the then acting Chief Judge of the state, Justice Ambrose Mammadi, who had ordered the House of Assembly not to proceed with the impeachment proceedings without personally serving the governor and his deputy only for him to reverse himself by setting up a probe panel a day after.

It was also gathered that some loyalists of Nyako had petitioned the National Judicial Council, NJC, to investigate the action of the Adamawa CJ, whose three months’ tenure lapsed last week, over his conduct in the impeachment saga.

The actions notwithstanding, Nyako’s camp had been thrown into confusion with the indictment by the panel, whose report could be debated upon and action taken by the House of Assembly this week.

Findings by New Sentinel indicated last night that Nyako’s only hope hinges on spirited efforts being made by his loyalists to ensure that the impeachment protagonists did not get the required two-thirds majority to remove him from office.

The governor’s camp had been gripped by fear following the inability of Nyako and his loyalists in Yola and Abuja to persuade majority of the state House of Assembly members to back out of the impeachment move against him.

It was learnt that despite several meetings between the governor and the aggrieved lawmakers, the governor’s camp could not secure the support of many members to stop his impeachment.

The House, which is made of 25 members, requires at least 17 members to be able to oust the governor.

It was not clear as last night if the 19 members of the House, who signed the impeachment notice against the governor would still stand by their signature and remove him when the impeachment voting is conducted.

The PDP stakeholders in Adamawa and Abuja are in favour of the probe panel giving the deputy governor, Ngilari, who showed absolute loyalty by staying back in the party when Nyako left for the APC, a clean bill of health so that he can take over and run the state till next year.

Sheriff defects to PDP, Nyako on the wings

Meanwhile, the defection of Sheriff, the erstwhile chairman of the Board of Trustees of the defunct All Nigerian Peoples Party, ANPP, one of the parties that merged to form the APC was confirmed last night by a strong associate of his, Mr. Inuwa Bwala.

Bwala, who served in the cabinet of the incumbent governor, Alhaji Kassim Shettima before he exited upon the differences between the governor and Sheriff, in confirming the development said: “He has defected and he is now in the PDP.”

Sheriff, New Sentinel further gathered, is expected in Maiduguri today for further consultations with his supporters.

Ahead of the visit, the chairman of the state chapter of the APC, Alhaji Ali Bukar Dalori, yesterday, cautioned party members in the state not to be deceived into defecting from the party.

Dalori said that those who leave the party would end up losing on both sides as they would have nothing to gain in the PDP.

Dalori in a statement made available to New Sentinel said a number of aspirants for elective offices in the state and in Abuja have been putting pressure on Sheriff to defect from the party, believing that they would get easy ticket in the PDP.

Citing Sokoto and Kano states, where former governors of the state defected to the PDP, leaving their supporters in the cold, Dalori said: “Shekarau is now a Minister but I can assure you that he is not likely to have his godson as the Governorship candidate of the PDP. I won’t be surprised if that his godson he fielded in 2011 as Governorship candidate in Kano under the ANPP, returns to APC before 2015 when he doesn’t get any thing. The same thing goes for many of his followers because, as it stands, he took people to PDP and he alone has benefited from the defection. That is always the case when aspirants just follow a big fish to another party, they become mere escorts.

“Most importantly also, the old PDP members are even likely to fight whoever Sheriff anoints as the governorship candidate if that happens because the old people know very well that if God forbids, the godson is elected governor, he will only pay attention to Sheriff and those around him, while the old PDP members will be strangers in their own party that they suffered so much to build and sustain.”

“No political party will hand over the entire aspirations of its loyal members to a new comer unless the party is looking for massive anti party activities. We will prefer to have a united APC in Borno but to be honest with you the APC in Borno State is not under any threat at all, we have the masses, we are very, very strong and are only waiting for inauguration of our candidates in May and June, 2015 that is for the governorship, deputy and for the National and State Assembly seats.”

Nyako who was elected on the platform of the PDP walked out of the party last November following months of agitation staged by him and six other governors against the party leadership at that time headed by Alhaji Bamanga Tukur.

Source: Vanguard

 

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