Convicted ex-governor used fraudulent prison letter to secure bail – Official

Bala Ngilari

The letter used by the convicted former Adamawa governor, Bala Ngilari, to secure bail is fraudulent, an official has said.

The letter, which supposedly confirmed Mr. Ngilari’s bad health situation, was the major one he presented to a Yola High Court and upon which the court granted him bail.

Justice Nathan Musa of the Yola High Court on Monday granted bail to Mr. Ngilari, currently in the prison for a five-year jail sentence.

The former governor has appealed against his conviction.

Peter Tenkwa, the Controller of Adamawa Command of the Nigerian Prison Service, NPS, told journalists on Monday in Yola that he was not aware of the letter and had communicated to the prison headquarters.

He said the headquarters directed him to issue a query to officials involved in the matter, including the Deputy Controller of Yola Prison, Abubakar Abaka, and a Superintendent of Prisons, John Bukar, in charge of health.

“Nigeria Prison Service, as I stated, knows nothing about this letter; whoever wrote that letter is on his own. I have been directed to query the officers involved.”

Mr. Tenkwa said that all he knew was that he got a letter dated March 23 from Adamawa Ministry of Justice on health facilities in Yola Prison where Mr. Ngilari was remanded and that after accessing the facilities, he replied to the letter, informing the ministry that the facilities were okay.

“We have enough medical facilities to handle high profile inmates like Ngilari; we even received some supply of drugs on Friday,” Tenkwa said.

Mr. Tenkwa, however, said that he had yet to get a release order from the court regarding Ngilari’s bail, adding that whenever he received it, he would contact the service’ legal department before acting on it.

Also commenting on the issue, the Attorney-General of Adamawa and Commissioner for Justice, Bala Sanga, said the bail granted Mr. Ngilari was a disturbing development.

“The chamber of attorney general is very worried and disturbed about this granting of bail pending appeal to our former governor; this is a legal remedy that is very rarely granted.”

Mr. Sanga said that he was more disturbed that the letter acted on in granting the bail was not exhibited with the appellant’s application nor attached to the documents.

“Technically what this means is that the letter was not even before the court.

“So, the court, in my opinion, has no business relying on a document that was not before it to arrive at a decision.”

Mr. Sanga said that the purported letter claiming that Ngilari was facing serious health problem was dated March 23, while the letter to the ministry from the prison service, which confirmed that the authorities had the necessary facilities to handle Mr. Ngilari, was dated March 24.

“This is very scandalous, if indeed the prison says it did not issue the letter.

“We intend not to file a complaint against whoever wrote that letter but to refer the matter to the police for prosecution because the court relied significantly on that letter to grant the bail,” Mr. Sanga said.

Mr. Sanga said that the disease was not contagious hence the bail was unnecessary.

Justice Musa, on March 6, sentenced Mr. Ngilari to five years in prison, without an option of fine, for violating the Public Procurement Act in the award of contract for the procurement of 25 vehicles.

Mr. Ngilari was given an option to select a prison of his choice to serve the term.



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  • dami

    How does a court give a convicted felon bail?
    Am I missing something here?
    Isn’t bail granted before or during trial? Or how does it work in nigeria? Ibinabo too a convicted felon is out on bail…how is this possible?

    • Angry Niaja

      Everything in naija is upside down, bail to a convicted villain already in prison, I have never heard of this

    • Mohd musa

      Yes a convict may be granted bail pending the hearing and determination of his appeal. The application may be made to either the trial court or the appellate court.

      • Kay Soyemi (Esq.)

        With a convict, the status quo must be maintained.

        And the present status quo is that of an inmate.

    • Sanssouci

      The rationale behind it is that while you await outcome of your appeal you still have hope it may be overturned, so you are basically given the benefit of the doubt. The reason big men don’t go to prison in Naija is because this appeal can last like 2 or 3 years after that you can appeal to the supreme court probably another 2 or 3 years, by then the 5 years would have lapsed new regime no more interest in the case, more layers means more opportunities to bribe yourself free. So a poor man of course cannot get a lawyer through all these appeals and has no other choice but to do the hard time. It is PREPOSTEROUS. So now imagine cases of the big fish, lets take Malabu for instance, Adoke is not even in the country despite all of EFCC’s huffing and puffing, and from the way EFCC has been trying to delay the arraignment we know they are nowhere near extraditing him, which is a a whole other legal wahala in itself. Being a SAN himself he will drag extradition, drag trial with frivolous motions, even if convicted he will also have the series of appeals as above so guys like that can be in court till 2025 easily. Even under the nose of a change government Saraki’s trial is fast approaching 2 years. The whole judicial system is inconsistent with logic.

  • Victor

    Lolz. This is Naija.

  • Intrepid

    Arewafraud every where. Even the man at the top. This house will surely fall. Because God has abandoned the damn thing long ago.

    • Abdulmojeed Nojeemdeen


  • Naija-go-free

    This is called NIGERIAN JUDICIAL MAGIC. You can be sure much water must have passed under the bridge before the bail was granted.

  • GusO

    You can’t grant bail to a convicted person. A bail is granted to a person awaiting trial. Did the judge not know this? Or is he part of the problem?

    • Kallah Bature

      I think something doesn’t add up here.Bail?An investigation must be carried out and the writer of the letter leading to the release of a convict must replace him and go to jail as well.They are making a mockery of the anti corruption fight.

    • Citizen

      Bail pending appeal may be granted to a convicted person, laws allows it in an extreme situstion, usually on the ground of ill health of the convict where the prison medical facilities cannot handle and where the term of the convict may have been completed before his appeal is determined. The means adopted to get this particular bail is what is wrong.

      • Peter_Edo

        I am sure this is at the discretion of the judge..

  • Shahokaya

    ..and some idiots were saying the judiciary is clean. Only a sustained night visit to these judges will make them shun corruption.

    • Kallah Bature

      So all along this is a sham.We have been fooled by this Adamawa judge.Are they no longer scared of the relentless anti corruption fight?

  • Gerald Okoduwa

    How do you grant bail to an already convicted culprit? The elites in this country believe the prisons are meant for the poor even the elites are the ones looting the country dry. Justice is for the poor while judgment is for the elites. This is a typical scenario of how those who govern us had held the Nigerian populace in high contempt. The prison officials and the Judge who granted the illegal bail need to taste the prison cells.

  • onos

    This is Nigeria…Nigeria..

  • DanJ

    It would have been done in secret, then perhaps he will fly out on health grounds while the prison term is counting.

    Thank God for social media. No more hiding place.

    With sustained enlightenment, eventually the masses will begin to rise up to ensure justice and equity for all.

  • Usman

    I like this Mr. Tenkwa, he must be patriotic, I wonder why someone will steal if he can withstand 5 years in prison, hoping that the jail term will be extended on his appeal

  • zygote

    Is there a prisoner in Nigeria that is free of disease? this is the first time I hear a prison that is convicted can get bail not pardon.

  • Aminu Baba

    I suspected that “side judgement” an initio. Justice Musa, after competently concluding and signed off his case, was apparently privately approached and pressurized by the cronies and Godfathers of the ex-governor. This must have informed his latest strange bail order. Big men no de go jail. Na wao!

  • Afo

    He is an unrepentant corrupt person that even in prison he still practises his trade. Whatever appeal he has made is rendered a failure. He must serve his full term.

  • Julius

    Somebody didn’t get part of the bribe money !

    • Cry Nigeria!!!!


      Why Muhamadu BUHARI is falling down………….

      CORRUPTION is alive and well; and, heightening, under the government of President BUHARI
      in Nigeria, and right under his nose, because Nigerians have almost come to the conclusion that
      President Buhari is too mentally weak and too morally compromised to know how to fight corruption.

      Official documents are being rapidly forged right, left and centre and tendered to High Court Judges
      to obtain favorable verdicts to get away with murder, so to say. President Buhari just mopes helpless,
      like as sedate sheep, not even bleating, as thefts and roguery override the federal republic of Nigeria.

      President Buhari set out to flatter to deceive by appointing Professor Itse Sagay as anti-corruption adviser.
      But the same man called Professor Itse Sagay was the one arguing nonsense in full support of corruption,
      just few years ago, not so? What do you now expect from him now? Does a leopard ever change its spot?
      Of course not!

      • Cry Nigeria!!!!

        ….(2) Why Muhamadu BUHARI is falling down

        When Diepreye Alamieyeseigha was arrested with millions of dollars in his suitcase in London,
        Professor Itse Sagay got ahead of himself and started talking sheer rubbish in all newspapers
        that Britain must let Diepreye Alamieyeseigha go free. As Sagay argued, Alamieyeseigha had
        immunity as a sitting governor in Nigeria (to steal?), that binds a court of law in London.

        So, is that the kind of un-informed advice Buhari wants? Is Sagay the sort of human being
        that should ever enter the presidential villa of a decent country as the adviser on stealing?
        Let truth be told. Professor Itse Sagay is too mentally corrupt to be a presidential adviser
        on any matter – even including corrupt sex.

        • Republika

          “In his Senior School Certificate (Wasc) in 1992, his name
          read ‘Melaiye Daniel Jonah O.’ with Melaye being wrongly spelt. In the result,
          he had P8 in English Language, P8 in Mathematics, P8 in Geography, P8 in
          Chemistry, C5 in Christian Religious Knowledge, P7 in Economics, C6 in Biology
          and B3 in Agricultural Science”.

          …….PUNCH newspaper

          (March 25th, 2017)

          • Omo Eleniyan 2

            Anyone who was not validly admitted (or even admissible) in the first place into a Nigerian university could never validly graduate from that university. Dino Melaye did not have the required five (5) credits for admission into university; and did not pass the two compulsory subjects of English and
            Mathematics with minimum C6 grade. And so, to the extent he was not validly admitted into

            Ahmadu Bello, he could not have validly graduated from that university. Simple logic!!

      • Julius

        ‘Somebody didn’t get part of the bribe money !’

        And this is your response to that comment ?. Thank you.

        • A.A Olas



          • Julius

            Oh, so the sharing of $2.1 BILLION is small picture, Air force chief stealing billions of Naira. Navy chief, Army chief, Police IG stealing/looting billion of Naira were small picture, NNPC Director will mansions all over the world is small picture, the president and his co-looters sharing $ 1 plus billion is small picture.. A mere NSA writing notes to the CBN and withdrawing billions is small picture…on and on. Okay, I will be waiting for the big picture. Thanks.

  • Mary


  • share Idea

    Imagine if this kind of thing had happened under GEJ. It is really a shame that forgery and lying have been elevated to the highest level under this administration that claims to be fighting corruption

  • thusspokez

    Mediocre judge; what is new? I hope that Mr. Ngilari gets his original prison sentence increased.