Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Who Will Save Murtala Nyako?

The genesis of the impeachment process against Governor Murtala Nyako is traceable to many factors, but two are most important: first, Nyako’s failure to honour his own side of his ‘deals’ with the State House of Assembly after they approved many requests from the executive, most notably, the controversial 10 billion naira bond. Secondly, Nyako’s happy-go-lucky action of denying many of the legislators the opportunity to control their constituencies during the formation of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Adamawa State. After all, Nyako’s opponents have always labelled him someone who relishes the politics of acquiring all for himself to the detriment of an all-inclusive politics. 

Before the current crisis, Gov. Nyako had the support of more than eighty percent of the State House of Assembly. For instance, when Nyako defected to the APC, and his adversaries took over the PDP in the state, only six members from Lamurde, Ganye, Guyuk, Numan, Nassarawo/Binyeri and Gombi constituencies openly attended PDP meetings. The rest of the members sat on the fence. 

Now, hurt by Nyako’s ‘betrayal’, the House members are willingly and freely offering a priceless service to the PDP and presidency. The PDP and the presidency will certainly enjoy what is happening, and no one can blame them, because Nyako is the architect of his predicament. 

From all indications, House members are determined to push the impeachment through- despite Nyako smartly evading the notice, forcing the house to place it in print and electronic media. 

Who will save Governor Murtala Nyako? The Adamawa masses could have been Nyako’s saviour, because Nyako had once enjoyed an unprecedented support from them. But he has lost their sympathy because of his failure to correct his political blunders- open cronyism, non-representative government and poor resource distribution. And majorly, gross government disservice the state is witnessing in all sectors. 

Another group that can save Gov. Nyako is the traditional class. The first impeachment attempt was doused by the late Lamido Aliyu Mustafa. There are rumors that the governor has made reasonable inroad in using the traditional class to persuade the members to drop the impeachment proceedings. If Nyako succeeds in getting the tradition class to plead with the members on his behalf, it would work. Out of the 25 members of the House of Assembly, 5 have not signed the impeachment notice. So, if Nyako is able to persuade, for instance, the Ganye chiefdom to talk to the five house members of chamber tribe extraction from Toungo, Ganye, Jada/Mbulo, Nassarawo/Binyeri and Leko/Koma constituencies, the impeachment process will suffer a setback at the second stage- the two-third majority will not be met. The two-third majority in the Adamawa state House of Assembly is sixteen members. 

Nonetheless, if eventually Nyako finds his way out; will he be able to respond to the 20 allegations of financial misconduct against him? This is anybody’s guess. 

On another hand, deputy governor Bala Ngilari is an unlucky man- he is an aspirant for the governorship position. Some political factors will work against him in this politics of impeachment. All his opponents will oppose handing the governorship position to him on a platter of gold. He is said to be at loggerheads with Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri, the Speaker of the House and also the complex Adamawa politics, where tongue, faith and geography play important role in Ngilaris’ dilemma. 

Whichever way the impeachment process goes, Nyako will still come out with many bruises. 

Zayyad I. Muhammad, writes from Jimeta, Adamawa State, zaymohd@yahoo.com, 08036070980.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Nyako ‘Dodges’ Impeachment Notice

Governor Murtala Nyako of Adamawa State has left Yola for Abuja in order to avoid being served a notice of impeachment, TheCable has been informed. The house of assembly, which is made up wholly of members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), had on Wednesday asked the assembly clerk to serve the impeachment notices on Nyako and his deputy, Bala Ngilari.
However, on getting wind of the move against him, Nyako immediately made to leave the state so that he would not be served the notice, according to a state house official who spoke with TheCable. 

In what could be seen as a demonstration of “federal might”, the Yola airport was immediately closed down ─ making it impossible for him to board a chartered flight out of town. 

State officials told TheCable that Nyako and his entourage decided to leave the state by road for Gombe, from where they were expected to fly to Abuja. 

The state liaison officer in Abuja has been instructed not to receive the notice, sources told TheCable. 

If Nyako and Ngilari are eventually impeached, the speaker, Ahmadu Umar Sintiri, will take over. 

Impeachment processes Under section 188 of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, outlined here are the processes for the removal of the governor or the deputy.

Step 1: A notice of any allegation in writing is signed by not less than one-third of the members of the house of assembly stating that the holder of such office is guilty of gross misconduct in the performance of the functions of his office, detailed particulars of which shall be specified. Gross misconduct is whatever is so described “in the opinion of the house”. 

Step 2: The speaker of the house of assembly shall, within seven days of the receipt of the notice, cause a copy of the notice to be served on the holder of the office and on each member of the house of assembly, and shall also cause any statement made in reply to the allegation by the holder of the office to be served on each member of the house of assembly. 

Step 3: Within 14 days of the presentation of the notice to the speaker of the house of assembly (whether or not any statement was made by the holder of the office in reply to the allegation contained in the notice), the house of assembly shall resolve by motion, without any debate, whether or not the allegation shall be investigated. A motion of the house of assembly that the allegation be investigated shall not be declared as having been passed unless it is supported by the votes of not less than two-thirds majority of all the members of the house of assembly. 

Step 4: Within seven days of the passing of the motion, the chief judge of the state shall, at the request of the speaker of the house of assembly, appoint a panel of seven persons to investigate the allegation. 

Step 5: The holder of an office whose conduct is being investigated under this section shall have the right to defend himself in person or be represented before the panel by a legal practitioner of his own choice. 

Step 6: A panel appointed under this section shall within three months of its appointment report its findings to the house of assembly. 

Step 7: Where the panel reports to the house of assembly that the allegation has not been proved, no further proceedings shall be taken in respect of the matter BUT where the report of the panel is that the allegation against the holder of the office has been proved, then within 14 days of the receipt of the report, the house of assembly shall consider the report, and if by a resolution of the house of assembly supported by not less than two-thirds majority of all its members, the report of the panel is adopted, then the holder of the office shall stand removed from office as from the date of the adoption of the report.