After weeks of uncertainty hanging over him, the Adamawa State Governor, Murtala Nyako, may have escaped the impeachment bid initiated by the legislators of the state House of Assembly following the decision by six of the anti-Nyako lawmakers to back out of the plot against the governor.
Making this known yesterday, sources in the Adamawa State Government House said the decision by the six lawmakers not to go ahead with the impeachment bid stemmed from the realisation that Nyako’s removal would have led to emergence of the Deputy Governor, Bala Ngillari, as the new governor of the state.
Though the impeachment notice served by 19 out of 25 Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) lawmakers last month was targeted at Nyako and his deputy, the investigative panel constituted by the former acting Chief Judge of the state, Justice Ambrose Mammadi, to probe them for gross misconduct, cleared Ngillari, while Nyako was indicted.
It was on this basis, THISDAY learnt, that stakeholders in the state, who bowed to ethnic and religious calculations, moved to save Nyako.
“If Nyako had been removed, it dawned on many people including some of the lawmakers who are all PDP members that the state would be headed by a Christian.
“Even the speaker, Hon. Umaru Fintiri, who thought that his job was safe would have been removed because both he and Ngillari are from the same town and local government area in Adamawa.
“With the decision by six of the 19 lawmakers to move back to Nyako’s camp, those against the governor no longer have the constitutionally required two-thirds majority to impeach him.
“Remember that the state assembly has 25 PDP lawmakers, of which 19 signed up to remove the governor. But with six going back to Nyako’s camp, the anti-Nyako legislators no longer have the number to impeach him,” the Government House said.
Meanwhile, the seven-man investigative panel constituted by Mammadi has submitted its report to the state House of Assembly.
Presenting its findings and recommendations to the speaker of the House in his office under tight security yesterday at exactly 2.30 pm, the chairman of the panel, Buba Kaigama revealed that during the sitting of the panel which lasted for two days, the respondents refused to appear before it.
The chairman explained that despite the ample opportunities given to the two respondents to appear before the panel, they refused to honour the invitation and failed to send their representatives.
“Unprecedented opportunities were given to the governor and his deputy to appear before the panel but the opportunities were not utilised, the panel listened to the only witness called by the House of Assembly”, said panel’s chairman.
Kaigama futher noted that the report was summarised into eight volumes, four each for Nyako and Ngillari, adding that a letter of their findings was equally attached to the volumes.
“We have summarised our reports into eight volumes, four for Governor Murtala Nyako and four for his deputy, Ngillari and a letter of our findings are included in the volumes submitted to the assembly,” he said
Shortly after the presentation of the panel’s reports, the chairman of the panel told journalists that the sitting of the panel was done publicly at the federal secretariat’s conference Hall in Yola, adding that the panel was fair and transparent and that the reports submitted were the true position of the investigative panel.
Receiving the report of the panel, Fintiri congratulated the chairman and members of the panel for a job well done and for their recognition and appointment to serve the state.
It was gathered that the assembly will reconvene today to adopt the panel’s report. â€¨Specifically, a member of the panel told THISDAY that the report of the panel will be made public, during the assembly’s sitting.
But commenting on the impeachment bid, Nyako yesterday accused those he described as some irresponsible elements based in Abuja as the brains behind the plot to oust him and his deputy “through some state House of Assembly renegades”.
He said: “Despite the unwarranted state of emergency enforced on the people of the state, coupled with the dusk-to-down-curfew, some irresponsible elements based in Abuja are trying to create additional hardship for the people.”
Nyako who was addressing his supporters who paid him a solidarity visit at his residence in Yola at the weekend insisted that the impeachment saga was a deliberate plan to cause disaffection among the good people of the state, adding that his administration would continue to deliver the dividends of democracy to the people irrespective of area, tribe and religion.
“I will continue to keep faith with my people and nothing will deter me from identifying with them,” Nyako said.
The governor appealed to his supporters and all well-meaning citizens to remain calm and pray to God to protect them from falling along ethnic and religious lines, even as he described those behind his planned impeachment as the enemies of peace.
He said legitimate sons and daughters of the state would never cause hardship on their brothers and sisters.
In her remarks, the Adamawa Women’s Leader, Hajiya Hauwa Abba, said women and youths in the state were in the governor’s residence to register their support and solidarity with him.
In another development, however, the wind of impeachment seems to have been blown beyond Adamawa State, as 20 out of 24 lawmakers from the Nasarawa State House of Assembly have been accused of collecting N30 million each to impeach Governor Tanko Al-Makura.
The Special Adviser, Special Duties to Al-Makura, Mr. Mohammed Abdullahi, made the accusation yesterday while explaining the motive behind the impeachment moves against the governor who was indicted for 16 offences by the lawmakers.
The assembly, yesterday, directed its Clerk, Ego Maikeffi, to serve the governor with the notice alleging gross misconduct, following an endorsement by all 20 Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) lawmakers in the House during a sitting presided over by Speaker, Ahmed Mohammed.
Of the assembly’s 24 members, only four are in the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state. The impeachment notice followed a motion of public interest raised by the Deputy Majority Leader of the House, Mr Yahaya Usman (PDP-Umaisha/Ugya) during plenary in Lafia, the state capital.
A document signed by the 20 members of the assembly which contained the allegations of gross misconduct against the governor was presented by Usman.
The notice accused the governor of violating the 1999 Constitution, stating: “Today being the 14th day of July, 2014, the 20 members of the 24 members of this House unanimously endorsed to serve Gov. Tanko Al-Makura notice of impeachment.”
The Chief Whip Mr. Mohammed Okpede, (PDP-Doma North) seconded the motion.
The speaker, who received the impeachment notice, said the House had complied with the provisions of the constitution to serve the governor with impeachment notice.
He directed the clerk to immediately serve the notice on Al-Makura on July 14. He said: “In the event His Excellency, Gov.Tanko Al-Makura cannot be reached for service, the clerk is directed to serve him with the impeachment notice through the media.
The impeachment notice confirmed earlier reports this week that the lawmakers met at a guest house in the high brow Asokoro District, Abuja, last week with a view to hatching plans to remove the governor.
Commenting on the notice, Al-Makura’s aide, accused some unseen hands in the presidency of being behind the impeachment notice, using proxies which include a Minister from Nasarawa State, some National Assembly members from the state and a point man from the South-south currently serving in the Constitutional Conference, Chief Asara Asara, among others.
Abdullahi accused the said individuals of selling the impeachment dummy to the presidency for the PDP to reclaim the governorship of the state.
It was alleged one of the point men disbursed the N30million monetary inducement to the 20 lawmakers.
The special assistant, who said information reaching the state indicated that the bribe was given to the lawmakers in US Dollars on Sunday, with the state’s deputy governor, Damishi Luka supporting the impeachment in order to actualise his longstanding ambition to become the state governor while the speaker would emerge the new deputy governor.
Al-Makura’s aide added that these were plans aimed at destabilizing the state and not in the interest of the state.
“If this is not coming from the presidency, why did the Inspector General of Police (IG) deploy 160 mobile policemen to guard the assembly and the members to hatch the plan. This is the single largest deployment in peacetime!
“When over 70 security personnel were killed at Alakyo, the IG did not deploy personnel to apprehend and prosecute the perpetrators, but finds it convenient to deploy mobile men to perfect an impeachment plot!” he said.
The deputy governor less than a year ago decamped from the APC to PDP, a moved that was viewed by many as signaling the continuation of the frosty relationship between him and Al-Makura.
culled from thisdaylive.com