The Assembly denies allegation, says party is ignorant
The Adamawa State chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC, has alleged that the State House of Assembly demanded N2 billion constituency allowances from the former governor of the state, Murtala Nayko as a condition for halting his impeachment.
The party alsoalleged that the lawmakers collected N350 million upfront from the governor, but still went ahead to impeach him.
The chairman of the APC in the state, Binta Garba, made the allegations at a press conference in Yola, the state capital, while giving insight into the political crisis that culminated in the removal of Mr. Nyako last Tuesday.
But in a swift reaction, the Assembly denied the allegations, saying the APC chairman was ignorant of the statements credited to her.
The former governor, who is a member of the APC, was impeached by 18 of the 25 members of the House dominated by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
The lawmakers claimed the former governor is guilty of the 16 allegations of gross misconduct against him.
His deputy, Bala Ngilari, resigned his position in controversial circumstances.
The Speaker, Umaru Fintiri, was subsequently sworn in as acting governor.
Mrs. Garba explained that Mr. Nyako could only afford N1 billion out of the N2 billon demanded by the lawmakers and that the governor gave them N350 million, but they still went ahead to impeach him.
She condemned the PDP for masterminding the impeachment of the former governor and alleged that it was a ploy to coerce the opposition into joining the party.
She described the impeachment as “ill motivated, ill- timed, vindictive, illegal and immoral”.
Mrs, Garba, a three-time member of the House of Representatives, also said the impeachment process was
legally flawed on several fronts, as the notice was not personally served on the governor in line with the requirements of the country’s constitution and ruling of the Supreme Court.
According to the APC chairman, despite a subsisting court order issued by the state acting Chief Judge restraining the state legislature from proceeding with the issue pending the determination of the case, the same acting Chief Judge went ahead to set up a panel to investigate the allegations in direct contravention of his earlier order which he had not vacated.
“This and other illegalities send dangerous signals of the manipulation of the judiciary for narrow political objectives” she said.
“If the judiciary is not insulated from party politics, but rather allows itself to be used to subvert democratic values, the country stands the risk of sliding into anarchy”
Mrs. Garba noted that as a result of the desperation by the PDP for power before the 2015 general elections, it had been using the instruments of government to coerce the people in order to allow itself to be used to
subvert democratic values.
She warned that the country stands the risk of sliding into anarchy.
“Had Nyako remained in the PDP, would he have been impeached? This abuse of power against the opposition is pernicious, selfish, ill-motivated and dangerous for Nigeria’s democracy.” she added.
The chairman said the destruction of the opposition in Nigeria, even if it were possible, would inevitably lead to the destruction of democracy itself as it happened in several countries.
She said the development had made PDP to be perceived as ruthless, unscrupulous and anti-democratic political party bent on retaining power in 2015 at all cost – fair or foul.
The spokesman of the Adamawa state Assembly, Adamu Kamale denied the allegations. He refused to give details, but instead claimed that the APC chairman was ignorant of all the statements she made.
Prodded to speak further, Mr. Kamale promised to do so after consultations with the House leadership.