Former Nigerian governor jailed for corruption

Bala Ngilari

A High Court in Yola, Adamawa State, has convicted and jailed former Gov. Bala James Ngilari for failing to adhere to the procurement laws of the state.

In a 75-minute long ruling, Justice Nathan Musa found the former governor guilty of four charges, and discharged him on one, which bordered on conspiracy.

The judge discharged and acquitted former Secretary to the State Government, and the Commissioner of Finance, who were second and third defendants in the case.

In handing down his sentence, the judge said the law stipulated that the convict shall not be given an option of fine.

He sentenced the former governor to five years in prison, and said the convict is serve his term in any prison of his choice.

Mr. Ngilari was charged on September 21, 2016.


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  • otitokoro


  • FreeNigeria

    “the convict is serve his term in any prison of his choice.” is that a choice given to other criminals?

    • share Idea

      That tells you the kind of charade going on under Buhari administration

      • Abdulmojeed Nojeemdeen

        How many corrupt official was jailed under your personal Lord and Savior mumu Jonathan,aka stealing is not Corruption, we are fighting corruption with technology. Mtcheeeeeeeeeew.

  • Chidi

    These judges sef! What is any prison of his choice? Of course his wife’s kitchen or the nearest federal medical centre where he will serve malaria for 5 years!

  • Richard Wall


    PMB’s war against corruption is very “selective”. PMB is harassing Bala Ngilari because he is a biafraud. Why is PMB targeting only biafrauds and ijaws ? Why cant PMB go after ” Yorobbers” and ” Awoosa-Foolani”?

    This is not fair. Separation is the answer.

    We want biafraud so that we can steal in peace.

    After all , ” na our oyel”.

  • George

    Why don’t we jail OBJ first.

    Mugabe is in Ghana independent celebration a man of 93yrs while our yeye Buhari in foreign hospital.

    May he dies there in Jesus Name, Amen

    • Okitipupa


      A man who leaves me and my children to die in poorly equipped hospitals in Nigeria and runs to receive treatment in the abroad does not deserve to live. Period!

    • Abdulmojeed Nojeemdeen

      Ask Google

    • Abdulmojeed Nojeemdeen

      And may you die here.

  • vay

    Why given a choice to choose prison? Is that not shameful

  • Haruna Atkins

    Jail sentence it too mild for his kind of offense. 5 yrs is actually about 2.5yrs by prison calendar. It is sure not commensurate to the gravity of offense. I recommend that he be made to refund all the moneys and if he can’t then all his property and those of his wife and children be confiscated. This is a better deterrent and does not stop people like Dongarat and Sarankin from stealing.

    In any case, he has got this sentence because he is a Christian. Were he a fanatic Muslim, he would sure not have been investigated even if they found him shielding Abubakar Shekau from arrest like the Local Govt chairman and state governor in Bornu state.

    • real~Truth

      But the judge also is a Christian

      • Haruna Atkins

        No! He is a Muslim. Nathan Musa. Musa not Moses. Are you blind? Or are you carried away by the ‘Nathan’ in his name? Those of us who live in the North know how Muslim men give Biblical names to their children to curry favours from their targets, possibly a Boss or something like that. E.g., a gateman can name his son Peter if his Boss in the office is Peter so that he can easily receive favours from him. Got it? — Justice Nathan MUSA not Justice NATHAN Musa

        • Olaola

          A whole pile of rubbish. I’m sure you are not even from the North. A total impostor and a fraud with a brainwashed mentality.

        • Abdulmojeed Nojeemdeen

          Goat head

        • Eluba Inas

          What a waste of human intelligence.

        • Jika

          Justice Nathan Musa is a Christian of Kilba tribe from Hong Local Government of Adamawa state.You may wish to Google his name and get his biodata.The fact that your name is Haruna and not Aaron doest not necessarily make you a Muslim even though Haruna is predominantly found amongst Muslims.So please stop spreading falsehood.

    • isiaka

      you are biased, fanatics and sentiment in handling issues. please apply wisdom in making comment.

    • Abdulmojeed Nojeemdeen

      I know shekau is your father,e dyot.

  • Eze

    why choice of prison??? these our judges self!

    • Na_so_we_see_am

      DId u not give Buhari waiver over a non existent certipicate? What is good for the dumb is also good for the dummy.

      • Abdulmojeed Nojeemdeen

        See madness,diversion,is that the subject?

      • Eluba Inas


  • packingson


  • D a n g o t e-C e m e n t


  • Okoye

    After reading all the comments , i found some of them very disheartening and heartbreaking from some Nigerians that believed they are literate all because they can read,write and speak English. Civilization does not anchor to reading,writing and speaking English alone. I cant believe you still see some people still inserting religious and ethnic sentiments when discussing sensitive issues that has to do with corruption in our society. When are we going to be civilized for Christ sake

    • Angry 9jerian

      How many people in Northern Nigeria and even in Western Nigeria voted because of the competence of Buhari? U beta sharrrrrap your mouth if you’ve got nothing interesting to say.

      • Wale


      • vay

        I can feel u but no need shutting up the gentle man,no matter how painful where r, we should still show our mature n understanding we are in the south. That our level is far higher than the northerners especially barbaric Hausa/fulanis that still toe on religion differences

  • Peaceometer


  • 300 Level Law


    A prison of his choice

    The masses
    have stopped calling the judiciary the last hope of the common man. It is not
    because some judges were found with euros, yen and dollars under mattress
    or inside their pillows (as their own judicious and judicial way of taking and
    hiding the bribes they take), though it may be part of the loss of confidence.
    But a major cause of that confidence loss is the stupidity in some Judges’
    pronouncements which make Nigerians doubt if Nigeria’s Court Judges can
    think at all,

    The idea of
    telling a convicted thief to select a prison of his choice is not in any law
    book in Nigeria. Even if the National Assembly should enact such nonsense
    clause it would be void, if it does not apply to everyone sentenced to prison in
    Nigeria, including Boko Haram terrorists. A definition of justice is that it must
    must appyly to everyone equally, unless there is a rational basis why only a
    convicted state governor must select a prison of his choice. In my own view a
    prison of his choice can be Room 456 in Sheraton Hotel if he pays for it for
    five years as a private prison since a private prison cannot be excluded
    from the nonsense idea of ‘selecting a prison of his choice’.

    • SamPsalm

      Thanks – even if somewhat harsh on the judge. He got 5 years for running afoul of the procurement laws. That was just under State High Court. There could be federal dimensions of the same case that could secure requisite restitution of whatever he may have stolen through such infraction. When a State High Court makes an order liek a prison of his choice, awkward as it may sound, it simply reduces to any of the LEGALLY RECOGNISED prisons within the State where the High Court has jurisdiction. A 5 -Star hotel is not legally a prison. The prosecution may still apply for a hearing to determine just that – or even appeal that particular aspect of the hearing.

  • Kamalu

    At last the conviction and sentencing of the former Governor breaks the juducial jinx of trying high ranking Nigerian officials for corruption and impunity.

  • Wetin Naija

    What is the meaning of “Prison of his choice”?

    • kusanagi

      It means he can choose his prison. lol.

    • Abdulmojeed Nojeemdeen

      It means he can choose between first class prison,where classes are respected or economy where you will fan one pressy or Governor. Lol

    • Charles

      Oh never mind, I don’t think there any Nigerian prison that is not hell on earth!

    • The King

      Lagos Luxury Hotel, is the prison of his choice.

  • Toughie Man

    This is not a serious judgment. Since he has an option of fine, he can comfortably pay his way out of prison and continue to enjoy his loot as long as he lives and his family in paradise on earth. Whoever feels otherwise should go and join a winning party and you are yours will live in opulence here and hereafter.

    • kusanagi

      Option of fine? Where? Did you read the article?

    • simon tor gideon

      He has no option of fine since the law under which he was tried stipulated no option of fine.One only hopes that he would not use that embezzled money to bribe judges at a higher court and get off the hook.

      • Toughie Man

        ok. +

    • Toughie Man


      • Eluba Inas

        Ok is not enough. You shall apologize for your failure to comprehend simple English with you beclouded mischief mind.

      • tundemash

        Is that all you got to say for failing to read and comprehend simple English ? And yet most of you !di0ts are the loudest !

        • Toughie Man

          you are not properly schooled in the dialectics of academic discuss. Your level of argument is below what a rational minded person can respond to following your treads in the social media, you have not once propose a concrete point of view worthy of a healthy discuss. faggot!

          • tundemash

            Mor0n, the more you post, the more you display your amazing stupid1ty.

          • tundemash

            A monr0n who couldn’t comprehend simple English in this news article is lecturing on “dialectics of academic discuss”. What a cl0wn !

    • Abdulmojeed Nojeemdeen

      You dey sleep,read again,”in handing down his sentence, the judge said the law stipulated that the convict shall not be given an option of fine”where did you put your glasses

    • Julius

      lolz, where did you read that ? Making things up as usual .

    • A Aminu

      No my friend, you did not understand it very well. The judge said clearly that the law did not provide an option for fine, as such he is not giving him such option, which does not exist. He is right now in a jail of his choice.

      • The King

        The jail of his choice is
        Luxurious Lagos Hotel.

        • A Aminu

          Is that a prison of his choice. If I were him, King, I will choose kiri-kiri prison. You will be surprised, it is the most comfortable prison in Nigeria. if he can get VIP block where former ministers were kept in 1966, 1984 and subsequent mass imprisonmemts. The prison is specious, developed with football pitch, lawn tennis court, and golf course. Pls don’t ask me how I know.

  • arewethishopeless

    See life ….

  • dudu

    Only five years? That’s no deterrence. He could even appeal up to Supreme Court. Nigerian laws do not bite the privileged looters. I swear.

    • tundemash

      Even if he’s given 100 yrs, he still as the right of appeal so what exactly is your point ? In the years past, stealing was no corruption and now you are complaining the jail term is too small. Even the man is handed a death sentence, i am certain you will criticise the mode of execution.

  • George

    Breaking;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;; Buhari Mohammedu is dead in London Hospital few minutes ago.

    He is survived by his Cameroonian wife Ahsain and many harlots which he called his daughters.

    Baboons and Monkeys are presently awaiting him at the gate of HELL

    • mike

      God punish you and your entire generation born and unborn and he pay back in a million fold

      • George

        He is dead already if not let him return to rule.

        Even you from the pit gulter supporting a callous fellow like Buhari.

        I wish you were never borned because your days are cursed including your forefathers and your generations born and unborn.

        Dog sexy ya mama

        • tundemash

          How does Buhar’s return help your miserable life ? “borned”? Creek education.

        • Michael

          Thanks for your deep thoughts but may I make a suggestion? Go back to school and learn how to write.

    • Senator D

      Where are you coming from???? hahahahahahhaahaaaaaa…. You are very naughty oooooooo…

  • deji 3SC (Up shooting)

    This call for celebration on many levels.
    – We all agree that Nigeria’s growth has been stunted by corruption.
    -This is one of the shortest, high profile court cases to be concluded within few months. The man was charged in September 21, 2016, barely six months later, he has been convicted and sentenced.
    -The first Ex Governor to go be jailed in Nigeria since 1985.
    Sai Buhari!
    The over 15 million people who voted for you, did so because of a change like this.

    • Chin Geo

      Buhari is not a judge and I tell you if Buhari is to be charged to that court he will be convicted quote me any where and even all of this our so called politicians.

      • deji 3SC (Up shooting)

        Don’t worry. Buhari’s turn will come and maybe yourself or the people you have sympathy for.
        When you catch a thief in your neighborhood trying to steal a goat or your money. You rejoice. Sometimes you partake in the jungle justice and I believe at that point in time you don’t say, let us leave this particular thief alone because there are still thousands of thieves free on the streets.

    • Senator D

      This is NOT Bubu work… It is the Judiciary and the judiciary is another arm of Government more powerful than the Executive because they Swear-in the Executive and define the Laws the Executives exercise. Stop ascribing another’s work to Bubu. The judiciary does NOT belong to a political party. If you want to prove that Bubu is working let’s start from the National Assembly and the Budget of the Presidency…

  • A Aminu

    One down, many to go. This is one judgement the whole country is waiting for. The good thing is that even if the jailed former governor chooses to appeal, which we all know he will, he has to start serving his 5-year jail term from this afternoon, as he awaits his appeal. To the eminent judge, you have shown that not all judges are corrupt. May your seat at the appeal court and the Supreme Court be reserved and painted white, as white as your wig.

    • GusO

      Well said.

  • Dr Pat Kolawole Awosan

    This is a good judgement by a Nigerian judge in the Northern part of Nigeria, unlike those bribes-for-favourite judgement judges and justices mostly from the South-South/East regions of Nigeria.

    • cheky

      Stop being a bigot, don’t you have Yoruba judges facing corruption cases with EFCC? Just comment and leave out tribalism.


      Can you cite an example ? Most corrupt region with most cases at EFCC IS SW followed by the north.

    • jason jasi

      Are you a traditional doctor or academician? My hunch goes for the former because your title does not reflect in your comment. Best you stick to your profession

      • Senator D

        Am reeling with laughter here…. Easy ooooooo…

    • Senator D

      You just cast aspersion on that title “Dr”. I hope you know am also a PhD holder… Stop messing up the title/prefix “Dr or Doctor”…You don’t sound like one…

    • Senator D

      Hope you remember Justice Salami of the Appeal Court? He was President of the Appeal court and his phone records from the GSM company proved he was a crook and a fraud…

  • Dazmillion

    Kudos to the judge for a fast trial and conviction. Please when will Orji Kalu who case has been pending for 10 be convicted? when will Dariye smell the inside of a prison yard after 10 years of ongoing trial?

    • grand maze

      Orji Kalu is in APC so his sins are forgiven

      • Dazmillion

        lol Saint Kalu

      • Senator D

        Once you join APC all your sins are forgiven. All things are new and old things are passed-away…

    • Mark Benny

      hmmm, please help me remind them of Dariye

    • Senator D

      You MUST repent and join APC. When you join APC you shall be baptised with the water and the spirit of Liar Mohammed. Your tongue shall never remain the same again, because you shall speak with a Liars tongue, trust me. Hahahahahahaaaaaa….

  • Mizch

    He has chosen to be imprisoned in the “other room”. Kudos!

  • brown charles

    What about the loot……….no pronouncement

    • GusO

      There was no loot. He used state funds to procure vehicles for his state assembly followers perhaps to avoid impeachment like the governor he succeeded.


    Why the privilege of prison of his choice ? that is preferential treatment, it is corruption .

    • Senator D

      Agreed… But Prison is Prison. Whether in America or UK… He has gone to Prison is what people know NOT what kind of Prison… Bros for once let’s be objective nah???


        Nigerian prisons operate living conditions worse than most zoos in Europe and USA hence it is just logical for all imprisoned politicians to serve in the worst prisons . That may change the prison infrastructure and living conditions . I n the UK, A LORD WHO SERVED TIME IN PRISON IS THE ONE CHAMPIONING THE WELFARE AND TREATMENT OF PRISONERS TODAY AND HE IS DOING VERY WELL TO ALWAYS PUBLICLY HOLD THE GOVERNMENT TO TASK WHENEVER FAILURES OR LAPSES TAKE PLACE.

  • Adekunle Akindude

    He should be remanded in the worst prison in the federation Please appeal the sentence

  • Impulse400

    This one is not a member of Big Boys Club. He has no “DOG” father.

    • Senator D

      The question is, “Did he commit the crime?” If yes then irrespective of “Dog Father” or “God-Father” he was convicted by a Judge of competent jurisdiction. Let him face the music. Common please let’s give it to the Judiciary for once…

      • Impulse400

        Can leopard use bleaching cream? Abeg, make I hear word. You are not among their skeletons and you are praising them.

  • jason jasi

    Caricature judgement at its best. What about the loot or asset forfeiture to the tune of amount impropriated? To add salt onto injury, the rookie judge is asking a convicted criminal to serve his pitiful jail sentence in any room he chooses!
    My submission is just to let the man go home and that is no worse off than this mockery of justice.

    • Michael

      Your view is misplaced. This is a good start by the Nigerian judiciary and it only happened because this President set the tone for a war on corruption. Although the war is not being fought that well, I hail this judge and judgement and hope the rest of the judiciary follow suit.

      • jason jasi

        “So long as men worship the Caesars and Napoleon’s, Caesars and Napoleon’s will duly arise and make them miserable”. You mentioned “Nigerian Judiciary” and that makes a lot of things obvious about you. After your name, the next right thing for you to know is your right. Judiciary is Judiciary and failure to recognise that your stolen common wealth has to be collected back and not in lieu of jail term makes me weep for you

        • Michael

          Can I ask: did you have special needs when you were at school? Please go back and read the article again. You are harping on about the returning of the stolen commonwealth when the article makes no mention of any loot having been made off with. The governor is jailed for not having followed the state’s procurement rules and for conspiracy. I suggest you take some reading lessons, and after that some common sense lessons.

          • jason jasi

            Because you can’t independently think unless being led. Autistic child

          • adolfs01

            What do you know self? To read wahala, understanding issue. Listen to people, you no gree…just dey cause confusion for your LIKES.

      • Bayo Ola

        Thanks. Good observation

      • GusO

        I agree with you. Although this newspaper did not explain why he was sentenced to jail, he procured vehicles for people, I think the state assembly. He should be jailed for running his state like a banana republic. But his crime pails into insignificance compared to the money looting visited on state treasuries by other governors. He has nothing to restitute back to the state except compelling those who benefited from vehicles to return them. But they are not parties to the law suit. I’m also very glad about the only 5-6 months it took the judge to dispatch the case. Imagine, Saraki’s case has going on for almost 2 years and there is no end in sight.

        • Senator D

          Saraki’s case is ongoing because of the compromised position of the presiding judge… Don’t forget that prosecuting someone means diligent home-work. The Fed. Government have not done diligent homework on Saraki’s case… They are just making it look political but it is indeed a heinous crime worthy of the Death Penalty…

    • Senator D

      Bro this is courage from the Judiciary. Give them kudos for once abeg. I don’t like the judgement too but its a step in the right direction. Let’s crawl before we begin to run!

    • A Aminu

      Please always read judgements and offenses committed, before concluding. Give praises where credit should be given. The judiciary have done well. The judge has passed a sentence according to the law. The offence of the ex-governor is purchase of official vehicles without due process of awarding the contract. The vehicle were supplied, but he did not follow the due process of the award. There is no money stolen, even if there was, it is not the kind of theft as in the arms deal of the air force Chiefs.

  • Ohnigeria Godsavenigeria

    When will tinubu, fashola, amaechi, fayemi, segun oni, kwakwanso,obj,atiku, brutai, ngige, elrufai , etc face their own sentences, why are our laws discriminatory.

    • Senator D

      Let’s start small-small brother… Am NOT a fan of this administration but this is encouraging…

    • uba c

      Pls don’t forget to add my own governor Rochas Okorocha………..

      • ubac

        Half of Imo land is now Rochas land and his in-laws and friends.Refused to pay pensioners, managed to pay some of dem 100thousand out of 800 thousand while some were paid 70thousand. He will come out in media and claiming he has paid all. He’s supposed to go prison too.

  • LionHeart

    This kind of law should be applied to all States in Nigeria. There are many corrupt past governors in Nigeria who are enjoying freedom after all their massive looting.

  • Senator D

    Good one… More of this is what we expect. I hope Another Judge will NOT repeal this judgement???

  • Senator D

    Gradually the Judiciary is crawling. Can’t wait for them to start walking and then running… Am really happy with this submission of the judge. PDP or APC what matters that he stole and was convicted of the crime….

  • Senator D

    Prison is Prison. Whether in America or UK… He has gone to Prison is what people know NOT what kind of Prison…

  • Osakue

    Pls correct me if I am wrong I believe this is the first governor to be jailed since 1999? In a fantastically corrupt country like ours

    • Senator D

      And your point is? It is Bubu abi?