Law News
Anxiety as court rules on resignation of Nyako’s deputy

Anxiety last night gripped  political stakeholders in Adamawa State ahead of today’s judgment in the suit instituted by the former deputy governor of the state, Mr. Bala Ngilari challenging his removal from office.

The judgment in the suit is to be delivered by Justice Ademola Adeniyi today a development that was last night causing quivers in the state given the demand by Ngilari that he should be installed as governor, given his claim that he was improperly passed over for the position.

In his claim articulated before Justice Adeniyi by his lawyer, Mr. Festus Keyamo, Ngilari had submitted that by virtue of section 191 (1) of the 1999 Constitution that after the impeachment of Governor Murtala Nyako, that he, Ngilari being the next in the line of succession should have been inaugurated as governor.

The former deputy governor further deposed that the assertion that he resigned his position as deputy governor was untenable given the claim by the House of Assembly that he, Ngilari resigned in a letter addressed to the speaker of the House of Assembly.

Ngilari had relied on section 306 (1), (2) and (5) of the 1999 Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), that his resignation from office as deputy governor could only be addressed to the substantive governor at that time who he claimed was Nyako.

Nyako, in his submission to the court had also claimed that he did not accept the purported resignation of Ngilari as deputy governor.

The development was yesterday causing apprehension in some quarters in the state.

The national vice-chairman Northwest of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Pastor David Lawal told Vanguard that the party was not unaware of the capacity of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP to cause maximum political mischief as he asserted the readiness of the APC to checkmate the ruling party in the state.

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, which has scheduled a by-election to fill the vacancy of substantive governor for this Saturday is a party to the suit. Should the court rule in favour of Ngilari, the election would automatically be called off and should he lose, the election would go ahead.

The acting governor and substantive speaker of the House of Assembly, Alhaji Umar Fintiri, who is the candidate of the PDP in the scheduled election is also cited as a defendant in the suit.

The candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC in the election is Senator Senator Muhammad Jibrilla Bindow.

Ngilari in his suit is asking the court to determine to wit:

“If the Plaintiff did not resign as stipulated by sections 306(1), (2) & (5) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), whether by the provisions of section 191(1) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), the Plaintiff (Barr. Bala James Ngilari) as Deputy Governor of Adamawa State, should not have been sworn in as the substantive Governor of Adamawa State after the impeachment of the 5th Defendant (Murtala Nyako).

“Whether by the combined provisions of sections 191(1) and 306(1), (2) & (5) of the 1999 Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria, the swearing-in of the 3rd Defendant (Rt. Hon. Ahmadu Umaru) as Acting Governor of Adamawa State on the 15th of July, 2014 is legal and constitutional.

“If the Plaintiff did not resign as stipulated by sections 306(1), (2) & (5) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) whether by the provisions of section 191(1) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), the 6th Defendant is required to conduct a fresh election to fill the vacant office of the Governor of Adamawa State after the impeachment of the 5th Defendant”.

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