Impeachment: Adamawa lawmakers ignore court order, ask Chief Judge to investigate Nyako’s ‘misconduct’

FILE PHOTO: Murtatala Nyako, impeached governor of Adamawa state

20 out of 25 lawmakers approved of the committee to investigate Nyako and his deputy.

In a flagrant defiance of the court orders, members of the Adamawa State House of Assembly have directed the state’s acting Chief Judge, Ambrose Mamadi, to set up a seven-man panel to investigate, within seven days, acts of gross misconduct levelled against Governor Murtala Nyako and his deputy, Bala Ngilari.

Twenty out of 25 lawmakers, in a resolution read out by the speaker, Umaru Fintiri, on Wednesday signed and approved that the Chief Judge should constitute the panel with immediate effect.

On June 26, a Yola High Court presided over by Mr. Mamadi, had restrained the lawmakers from
carrying out the impeachment process until the case is decided by the court.

The House accused the acting Chief Judge of passing a ‘voodoo judgement’.

In its resolution on Wednesday, the lawmakers said the proceedings of the investigative panel should be held in public and conducted from the hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each of the seven days.

The speaker, Mr. Fintiri, said d that that the House took decision after Messrs. Nyako and Ngilari failed to clear themselves of the allegations of gross misconduct.

The lawmakers then adopted the Panel of Investigation Rules of Procedure of Adamawa State, which Mr. Fintiri said should include a chairman, a secretary and five others as members. The panel would also adopt ordinary rules of fair hearing.

“The panel shall in the course of its proceedings adopt the ordinary rules of fair hearing.

The panel may, however, in its discretion, be guided by the High Court civil Rules of Adamawa State and the provisions of the Evidence Act, 2009,” Mr. Fintiri said.

Meanwhile, the Defence Counsel to Mr. Nyako, Ayo Akam, who held brief for Kanu Agabi, at a Yola High Court sitting, described the action of the Adamawa House of Assembly as a contempt of court since the court had restrained the house from going ahead with the impeachment

More intrigues

Also in its sitting on Monday, the Assembly refused to confirm a commissioner nominee, Phileas Elisha, who was sent for confirmation by Mr. Nyako.

The House took the decision on the ground that Girei Local Government, where Mr. Elisha comes from, already has two persons serving as commissioners in the cabinet.

The House, in its sitting on Monday, also gave the state Commissioner of Finance and the Accountant General directive to pay civil servants salaries for June on or before Wednesday.

Civil Servants in the state are yet to receive their salaries because the EFCC had frozen the bank accounts of the state government. But the House said salaries account had been de-frozen by the anti-graft agency.

Reacting to the development, Governor Nyako said the directive by the lawmakers is just blackmail.

Speaking through his Chief Press Secretary, Ahmad Sajoh, on Wednesday, Mr. Nyako said the House of Assembly is aware of the freezing of the state accounts by the EFCC.

“Their claim that one of the accounts is open is not supported by facts,” he said adding that the Mr. Nyako led government has not received any document relating to the closure of the accounts since the process was illegal.

“Consequently any statement relating to which account is closed or open is mere speculation. What is certain is that the EFCC has frozen all the accounts of Adamawa State without resort to any Court order as required by section 34 of the EFCC Act”.

Mr. Nyako accused the EFCC of illegality and said the lawmakers backed such illegality.

“For the House of Assembly to adopt a resolution supporting such illegality, it means that the hallowed Chamber of the Assembly has been used to promote an illegality. This is rather unfortunate,” he said.

“Any support given to such illegality by the House of Assembly only reinforces our belief that the whole process is tele-guided from Abuja.

“Let the good people of Adamawa State know that the non-payment of the June salaries is precipitated by the illegal act of the EFCC which is endorsed by the Adamawa State House of Assembly,” Mr. Nyako said.

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