The Federal Government has directed the Chief Judge of Adamawa State to swear in Bala Ngilari as governor of the state in compliance with the judgment of the Federal High Court, the News Agency of Nigeria is reporting.
The government’s directive came as the state Acting Governor, Umaru Fintiri, removed by the court, said he had instructed his lawyers to appeal the judgment, suggesting that he was unwilling to step down.
A Federal High Court in Abuja had on Wednesday morning ordered Mr. Fintiri to vacate office and that Mr. Ngilari, the deputy governor of the ousted former governor, Murtala Nyako, be sworn in immediately to complete the tenure of Mr, Nyako.
The court said Mr. Ngilari, who was said to have resigned, is the rightful governor of the troubled state.
The court also directed the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to stop Saturday’s governorship bye election in the state.
The court’s judgement follows a suit instituted by Mr. Ngilari praying the court to declare him governor on the grounds that his resignation letter, which he forwarded to the speaker of the state Assembly on the eve of the impeachment of Governor Nyako, was null and void.
Mr. Ngilari’s request is based on the constitutional requirement that a deputy governor can only resign by submitting his letter of resignation to the governor.
INEC says it is awaiting formal court order to decide on the conduct of Adamawa governorship by-election scheduled for Saturday.