Abuja Court stops Adamawa election, orders Nyako’s deputy, Ngilari to be sworn in

Photo:newtelegraphonline.com

A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has asked the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, not to go ahead with Saturday’s governorship bye election in Adamawa state.

The court also ordered that the deputy governor of ousted Murtala Nyako be sworn in immediately to complete the deposed governor’s tenure.

The court judgement follows a suit instituted by Mr. Ngilari asking 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 constitutional requirement  that a deputy governor can only resign by submitting his letter of resignation to the governor.

Mr. Ngilari had asked the court to halt any governorship election in the state, and  declare him governor following the impeachment of Mr. Nyako on July 15, 2014.

The court had earlier ‎refused an application by  Mr. Ngilari to restrain the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from conducting bye-election to fill the Adamawa  governorship seat.

‎‎Mr. Ngilari, whose office was declared vacant on July 15 by the state’s lawmakers after he purportedly resigned, later challenged the legality of his resignation.

The suit had Umaru Fintiri, the Speaker, Adamawa State House of Assembly, the House of Assembly, the Acting Governor, Adamawa State, Mr. Nyako and INEC as defendants.

Mr. Ngilari, who denied resigning his position within the contemplation of the provision of Section 306(1), (2) & (5) of the Constitution, said the purported resignation letter he sent to the Speaker was not meant  to be acted on by the House of Assembly.

Mr. Ngilari,  in a supporting affidavit, said, “I did not submit any letter of resignation to the 5th defendant (governor) or any other person other than the 1st defendant (the Speaker).

“I only submitted a purported letter of resignation (exhibit A), to the 1st defendant but I never intended to comply with the strict provisions of sections 306 (1), (2) & (5) of the 1999 Constitution by submitting it to the 5th defendant (the Governor).

“I never intended exhibit A (the letter) to be any subject of debate or resolution by the 2nd defendant (House of Assembly), but a private correspondence between myself and the 1st defendant, hence it was marked ‘secret’.

“That exhibit A was only submitted to the 1st defendant with the intention of discussing the contents with him privately at a more convenient time to alert him at a possible action I may take at a later date because of certain political developments in Adamawa State, hence I did not submit it to the 5th defendant (as Governor of Adamawa State) as strictly stipulated by section 306(1), (2) & (5) of the 1999 Constitution.

“That I was therefore shocked to see that my letter was read and acted upon by the entire members of the 2nd Defendant when it was never addressed to them,” Nggilari stated.

Mr. Ngilari then raised seven questions for the court’s determination, and asked the court to restrain INEC and its agents from conducting a bye-election to fill the office of the Governor following the impeachment of the governor and the purported resignation of his deputy.

He further sought an order “removing the 3rd defendant (Umaru) as the Acting Governor of Adamawa State forthwith”, and “an order directing the Chief Judge of Adamawa State (or Acting Chief Judge, as the case may be) or the President of the Customary Court of Appeal to swear” him (the plaintiff) in as the state’s substantive governor.

He also sought:

*A declaration that by the combined provisions of section 306 (1), (2) and (5) of the 1999 Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) the plaintiff (Barr. Bala James Nggilari), as Deputy Governor of Adamawa State, did not resign his office by addressing a letter of resignation dated 15th July, 2014 to the 1st defendant (Speaker, Adamawa State House of Assembly).

*A declaration that by the combined provisions of section 306 (1), (2) and (5) of the 1999 Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) the purported resignation of the Plaintiff as Deputy Governor of Adamawa State did not take effect when the purported Letter of Resignation was received by the 1st Defendant (Speaker, Adamawa State House of Assembly) on the 15th of July, 2014.

*A declaration that by the combined provisions of section 306 (1), (2) and (5) of the 1999 Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) the declaration of the office of the Deputy Governor of Adamawa State (then occupied by the plaintiff) vacant on the July 15th, 2014 vide the votes and proceedings of the 2nd defendant of same day is unconstitutional, illegal, null and void.

*A declaration that by the sequence of the legislative business of the 2nd defendant as contained in the transcript of the votes and proceedings of the Adamawa State House of Assembly (2nd defendant) of Tuesday, July 15th, 2014, the 5th defendant (Murtala Nyako) was still the Governor of Adamawa State at the time the 1st and 2nd defendants received, accepted and acted upon the purported letter of resignation of the plaintiff (Barr. Bala James Nggilari) to declare his seat vacant.

*A declaration that by the combined provisions of section 306 (1), (2) and (5) of the 1999 Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) the Plaintiff (Barr. Bala James Nggilari) did not resign from office as Deputy Governor of Adamawa State as strictly stipulated by the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).

*A declaration that by virtue of section 191(1) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), after the impeachment of Murtala Nyako (5th Defendant) as Governor of Adamawa Sate, the Plaintiff ought to be sworn in as Governor of Adamawa State.

*A declaration that by the combined provisions of section 191(1) and 306 (1), (2) and (5) of the 1999 Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), the swearing-in of the 3rd defendant (Rt. Hon. Ahmadu Umaru) as Acting Governor of Adamawa State on 15th of July, 2014 is illegal and unconstitutional.

*A declaration that, by the provision of section 191(1) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), the 6th Defendant cannot conduct any election to fill the office of the Governor of Adamawa State after the impeachment of Murtala Nyako, as the Deputy Governor (Barr. Bala James Nggilari) did not resign from that office as strictly stipulated by section 306 (1), (2) and (5) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).


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  • Preco01

    Good first step to sanity. Nigeria will get it right some day soon

    • Kay Soyemi (Esq.)

      Many thanks for that first contribution, Preco01.

      There is very little else to add to that, save some curious need for clarification – are bribes refundable?

      And Mr. Nigilari, what party is he with again?

      Anybody recollect and can help?

      • Dapo

        Ngillari is PDP,he didn’t follow Nyako’s to APC and as for whether bribes are refundable,maybe you need to clarify who collected bribe for what.But for now no election on Saturday in Adamawa and if you asked me,I’m not sure the powers that be would be surprised by the ruling

        • Kay Soyemi (Esq.)

          lol, Dapo.

          I recollect that Ngilari did not follow Nyako – personally, I think it was a strategy to have a leg in either camp by Baba Maimangoro – but with the ‘shafting’ Ngilari got from his PDP co-travellers, I wonder how he would go when he gets on the throne.

          On the matter of bribes, and here, I specifically refer to all those new “Jeeps” to ‘stakeholders’, traditional rulers etc from Fintiri. State property dispensed as patronage!

          I wonder if Mr. Fintiri would now see this new development as the “hand of God smacking him before 2015”?

          I am seriously amused by the development. Can’t wait to hear the decision on Nyako’s suit as well.

          “Oh, what a peculiar mess” – Late Chief Adegoke Adelabu.

          • King Carlos

            Omo ds one is a real political chess. Even we political scientists have not been able to predict anything in the Nigerian political landscape.

          • YUSUF

            KING CARLOS YOU ARE MAD

          • buzu

            Lol @ key u said my mind exactly and the looser is Ribadu. Ha aint see nothing yet. What has he done to the Adamawa peaple? He lost all credibility and respect from every one that support him in adamawa and nigeria as a whole shame

          • YUSUF

            KAY SOYEMI YOU ARE DOING WELL

          • Kay Soyemi (Esq.)

            lol.

            Thanks Sir.

        • joeokon

          Dapo, The ruling party would not be surprise by the ruling, but will surely salute the political sagacity of the plotters of this game. You cannot say that Nyako allowing Ngilari to remained a PDP member as well as his deputy was not astute political strategy in anticipation of any PDP exploitative tendencies. As posted above, in strict political alliance between Atiku and Nyako to completely edge out the political kindergarten (Nuhu Ribadu)

          from political relevance in Adamawa, this Sicilian plot was laid out. Sadly, it actually exposed the greediness and political ineptitude and consumed so many desperadoes in Adamawa State. Next time, some people will look very well before they leap. Nuhu, Sorry oooo! Ultimately, Nyako may return via impending court cases before May 29, 2015.

        • King Carlos

          But wait a minute o. . Maybe the PDP sensed that they might not win the governorship election on Saturday, so they decided to bring Ngilari back, since he’s a PDP man. After all, a bird in hand is better than a million in the forest. Hmmmmmmnnnn…. kayefi le le yi o

          • Orwellian

            Your guess is as good as mine on this.

          • YUSUF

            IT IS TRUE

        • YUSUF

          NA SO

  • Sydney Ezika

    Yes, very interesting, democracy in action in naija.

  • kpangolo

    Smart! is it not? No end to subtlety. This is politics, this is Nigeria. More money for some good for nothing SANs and Judges

  • True Nigerian

    Ribadu, Ndo! sorry! pele! This display of madness by PDP people is what your crazy unbridled lust for power is making you to swallow. I have no sympathy for fellows like you who have no regard for the credibility of those who have been supporting you.

  • Innocent

    Technical knockout.

    • YUSUF

      WHAT DO YOU MEAN

  • dudu

    When all is said and done, methink the greatest loser among the players ironically happens to be Nuhu Ribadu, just too bad that he sold himself out for a mess of pottage which never was

    • Kay Soyemi (Esq.)

      lol, dudu.

      I like that bit – “a mess of pottage which never was”!

      Gbam!! Please say no more!!!

      • Wähala

        BREAKING NEWS…!!!
        Na Asari dem hold for floor yonder. Sebi you wann know yestaday? Na obese Asari ati Sec. Gen. of CAN!
        Got ansa me biko for next thread, Oga Lai read our conversation and has put out word… na Asari! Hahaha! lol !!!!

        • Kay Soyemi (Esq.)

          Good one, Wahala.

          I wondered as well.

          You were spot on!

          • YUSUF

            YES

    • King Carlos

      Yes o.. he fell for the PDP carrot that was dangled in front of him. That’s what yorubas will call “iwa ju o se lo….. eyin ose pa da si…. ”

      • dudu

        I agree with you absolutely, a serious dilemma.

    • Wähala

      Don’t run to the bar on that one yet, na dem-dem, I wouldn’t be too sure on that if I were you. What if Ribadu was a “plant” put there just to cause this kind of katakata for the PDP? Even Nyako recently threatened a comeback. The APC have always out-foxed the PDP, this is just a straight case of finding an upright Judge who stands by the Law… as was the case in Nasarawa State. But granted, Ribadu can still challenge Ngilari and show his mettle since no one can now tell him not to run… so, na dem-dem, na laffu I dey laff for kalabari!

      • dudu

        o.k noted. Lets keep our fingers crossed, I also have not ruled out the possibility of the PDP at the centre getting the judge to do its bidding simply to outsmart Fintiri so that he does not betray the standing arrangement of the party by 2015. Fintiri might even be aggrieved enough now to join Nyako in the APC having done the wishes of the PDP only to be dealt with an unexpected blow from that unsuspecting end.

  • Ibby

    Smart Move. I salute Ngilari for this.

  • Dan Fulani

    Umar Hardo,look at this mess you guys are putting my beautiful Gongola State in to.

  • Goodluck_Nigeria

    This case is subject to appeal ……… Ngilari cannot have his cake and eat it !!!

    It is only after all appeals are exhausted that we can surely say what the position is in Adamawa State.

    Recall the case of 37 House of Reps members that were sacked by the court for defecting to APC …… they are still in the House pending the outcome of their appeal.

    What is good for gander is also good for the goose.

  • the truth

    Nigerians politics.when it goes in some parties favor it is democracy at work,when it doesn’t go for them, they would cry out how Nigeria’s democracy is a sham.this movie in adamawa is surely getting interesting.ngilari is a pdp member he did not move with nyako to apc,but this case will be appealed.let’s watch and see.I dey laugh in obasanjos voice

    • Nigerian

      Yes, my friend Mr. “the truth” only “Neutral” people laugh because they don’t take side. I dey laff with you.

  • Mr. Arsenal

    Since Ngilari is a PDP member, let’s see if Fintiri and PDP will appeal the judgement. *Arms crossed*

    • Zara

      @ Mr. Arsenal:

      An injunction pending appeal is the only way to stop the swearing-in of the new governor.
      But even that looks unlikely at once since the trial Judge will not like to grant it as a right.
      The trial Judge’s refusal will put the incumbent Governor Fintiri on the run to save what’s left.

  • joe

    At least those that sent terrorist to Michika and Madagali local councils should be ashamed of their actions. Just because of power, politicians sent their foot soldiers to destabilize our communities. Everyone should know that we are living in two worlds- the spiritual world and the physical. God is on the throne. Shame to politicians that sponsors terrorist because of political office.

  • King Carlos

    Ahh Ribadu… I dey laugh o. This has added a new shift to the drama in Adamawa. PinDiPi is on a self destruct. Fintiri on a grace to grass. I’m pretty sure this also nullifies all agreement of transferring power to Ribadu in 2015.

    The judge should be happy that Fayose was not a defendant, hell would have been let loose.

    2015 election is gonna be a looooong series of events.

  • tuco

    Drama!!!

  • tsunami1earthquake

    This judge has placed Adamawa politics on tenterhooks, firstly by the timing of the ruling and secondly, by the ruling itself. What shall we expect now? Will INEC brush aside this ruling and go ahead with the Saturday polls or appeal the ruling also? Surely an appeal by Fintiri and its result would not come by Saturday! Will Ngilari do everything underground to frustrate all attempts at overthrowing him? Many questions indeed! Suspense, suspense, suspense!

  • hummm

    GBAM, E DON SHELE

  • Truthometer

    This Nigerian democracy’s flight is about to crash and the fatalities are going to be shocking but not surprising. Mark my words.

  • True Nigerian

    Honestly, I would like to know what goes on in Ribadu’s heart and head each time his folly is brought to the fore again with each round of PDP’s naked dance of shame. How does he feel about himself? How does he feel about his decisions? How does he feel about constantly being made to swallow his vomit? How does he feel to be in a position where both his lifelong abusers and his lifelong ardent supporters are mostly now saying that he is both a abysmally poor thinker and a deceiver until proven otherwise? What does he think when he sees, hears, reads and ponder these endless jokes on him and his journey to obscurity and discredit? I’m sorry if I come across as someone who is having Ribadu’s headache on his behalf. The reason is probably because I, like many other Nigerians, spent the last 10 years defending him as a man of principle and believing him to be a man guided by his conscience, rather than lust for power and relevance. As a fan of many years who has defended Ribadu on various forums, I am heartbroken to see it now, but Ribadu was a wolf in sheep’s clothing. With hindsight, I am happy that his true colour has been revealed even before its camouflage succeeds in tricking Nigerians into another one chance. It’s a shame, a real shame! A tragedy and a pity!

    • Thedream

      Do you call this shame tbis victory

  • Naija Naija

    This shows that these politicians don’t even know the constitution. They are so desperate for power. How could a Speaker of HA accepted a resignation of the Deputy Governor without knowing what the constitution says about it.

  • Abubakar Magaji

    a long time ago I knew this was the game plan, Mr. just relax let them fight themselves and you will take over. shame on you umar fintiri u failed to protect ur own brother for ur own greed, wallahi u have not seen anything yet.

    • Thedream

      You are talking out of sence. Is Ngilari not his brother? Or are you religious bigotry? Let call a spade a spade

  • Man_Enough

    this man ngillari confessed that he wrote, signed and sent a letter to the speaker knowing fully well that he did not mean the contents of same. classifying the letter as secret does not mean that he wanted advise. he purposedly planned anned nad decieved the speaker for fraudulent reasons. he should be charged for fraud and jailed.

    • Thedream

      Do not blame him. He read the situation and act on it.What about Fintiri who is a power drunker? He should have smart enough to know that he is yet to be the Governor at that time. Too much haste always give room for mistakes

  • Jamoh

    God bless the Nigerian judiciary whom is fair and just to Bar. James Ngilari a faithful party man who did not abandon the PDP for the APC like his Boss. Fintiri the power drunk man wants power at all cost but God gives power. If the October 11 election had held and Fintiri hadcontested and won he would have re-contested the 2015 elections.

  • Thedream

    This is the second phase the film is getting tougher