Impeachment: Court dismisses Adamawa lawmakers’ application on jurisdiction

FILE PHOTO: Murtatala Nyako, impeached governor of Adamawa state

The lawmakers are seeking to impeach the state governor for gross misconduct.

The impeachment process initiated by 20 of 25 members of the Adamawa State House of Assembly on Thursday suffered another setback as a Yola High Court dismissed an application filed by the lawmakers over its jurisdiction to entertain a case filed by Governor Murtala Nyako.

The Court, presided over by state’s acting Chief Judge, Ambrose Mammadi, had earlier granted an interlocutory injunction stopping the lawmakers from going ahead with the impeachment proceedings.

While ruling on the lawmakers’ application on whether the court has jurisdiction or not to entertain the suit brought by the state governor, Mr. Mammadi held that the court has jurisdiction to entertain the suit and therefore dismissed the lawmakers’ application and adjourned to July 9 for further hearing on the matter.

Reacting on the Thursday’s ruling, a counsel to the embattled governor, Ayo Akumu, expressed happiness with the ruling.

“I am comfortable. My joy is that the court did not say it had no jurisdiction to entertain the case. The matter is still pending before the court. I am O.K. with it. The action taken by the House of Assembly as at yesterday, I had made it clear that is a violation of the court order,” he said.

Mr. Nyako’s adviser on legal matters, Hadiza Aminu, also applauded the ruling.

“We are happy for today’s ruling which says that the court has jurisdiction to hear the case, that’s why it has been adjourned to July 9, 2014 for continuation. We appeal to our teeming supporters to remain calm, resolute and be law abiding as the court is on the top of the matter,” she said.

The Assembly had on Wednesday, at plenary, resolved and directed the acting Chief Judge to constitute a seven-man panel to investigate the allegations of gross misconduct against the Governor and his Deputy, Bala Ngilari.

But the High court said it was yet to receive any correspondence from the Assembly on the matter.

“As I am talking to you now, we are yet to receive their correspondence, and if there is any we will communicate to you,” said the chief registrar of the High Court, Abubakar Babayola, in a chat with PREMIUM TIMES Thursday.

However, Solomon Kumangar, the spokesperson of Speaker, Umaru Fintiri, said the Assembly had communicated the decision of the House to the Chief Judge.

“The clerk has since communicated the matter and it was received at the chamber of the acting chief Judge before closing hours,” he said.

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