AN investigation into the activities of Adamawa top government officials over an alleged massive fraud by them Wednesday reached its climax as the Assembly members directed the Clark of the House to serve an impeachment notice on Governor Murtala Nyako and his deputy Mr. Bala Ngillari.
Citing several constitutional breaches by the embattled governor, the Deputy Speaker of the House, Laori Kwamoti, moved a motion for the impeachment of the governor, arguing that Nyako had grossly violated his oath of office.
“In exercise of the powers vested in the Adamawa State House of Assembly by Section 188 sub (1) of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) and all other powers enabling the Adamawa State House of Assembly in that behalf, we the undersigned members of the Adamawa State House of Assembly append our names and signatures to this notice of allegation of gross misconduct against the governor of Adamawa State, Murtala Nyako, as provided in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).”
Also, Rivers State Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi’s associates have alleged fresh moves by the Presidency to move for his impeachment just as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) accused him importing suspected terrorists to the South to foment trouble and revolt against the Federal Government.
In an eight-page impeachment notice, 20 allegations of massive gross misconduct running into several billions of naira were leveled against Nyako.
One of the impeachment allegations stated: “Squandering of N1billion Adamawa State Scholarship Trust Fund.”
Another stated: “Abuse of office and violation of Adamawa State law by appointing his wife, Dr, Halima H. Nyako, as the chairman, Adamawa State Action Committee on Aids (SACA), contrary to the SACA law. His government is popularly nicknamed ‘government of family and friends.”
Another motion moved by the member representing Nassarow/Beyerin constituency, Alhaji Umar Abdulkarim, directed the Clark of the House to serve another impeachment notice on the deputy governor over alleged misconduct.
The lawmakers, in a majority agreement, resolved that the governor and his deputy would answer all the charges of alleged mismanagement of public funds under their control.
Nyako, who was slated to travel to Abuja by air at 1:00 p.m., left by road. Since Nyako became the governor of Adamawa State, this was the first time he travelled by road to Abuja after his flight was booked 24 hours ahead.
While reacting to the impeachment notice, the Director of Press to the governor, Alhaji Ahmed Sajoh, who accused the lawmakers of acting a script from Abuja, said that their action to remove the governor and his deputy was not only a child drama but a political joke.
“It is not possible for the governor and his deputy to commit the same offence at the same time. So I have not heard about this kind of action before and I know it is not only illegal, but an abuse of democratic values,” he said.
He told The Guardian that speaker of the House wanted to take over the leadership in Adamawa through the back door.
“You cannot be a beneficiary of your own action, you cannot impeach the governor and his deputy because you (speaker) want to be governor”, he stated.
Sajoh, who traced his boss (Nyako) dilemma to the presidency, lamented that President Goodluck Jonathan on Tuesday this week hold a closed-door meeting with the governors of Borno and Yobe with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown in attendance without inviting the Adamawa State governor.
“The Federal Government has stopped all SURE-P programmes in Adamawa State. Today the governor was scheduled to travel to Abuja, when we got to the airport we were told that the air force had shut down the airport for flight. That is what my boss is facing with Abuja politicians”, he maintained.
He said that his boss was yet to receive the impeachment notice from the lawmakers.
“When we get the impeachment notice, we can react based on the content. For now, we are still waiting for them to serve the governor”, he said.
Nineteen out of 25 members of the Assembly signed the impeachment notice.
“Information at our disposal revealed that this new move is been coordinated by serving minister from the state,” one of Amaechi’s associates who spoke on behalf of the others, said, although he asked not to be named.
He added: “The plot, we gathered, is to use the six members of the House of Assembly who are PDP members to carry out the impeachment. The six PDP members are opposed to Governor Amaechi and have refused to be part of the sitting of the majority 25 members who are All Progressives Congress (APC) members like the governor.
“The plan, we gathered, is for the six members to convene a sitting of the House of Assembly at a private residence or office, with Evans Bipi presiding as the Speaker. At that sitting, a member will then move a motion for the suspension of the other 25 APC members. Once the purported suspension is adopted by the six members, they will now move for the impeachment of Governor Amaechi on very spurious grounds.”
According to the associates, the “plotters claim to have on their side the support” of a prominent judge in the state to impeach Amaechi.
A Rivers State Government House insider is said to have confirmed the development, saying: “This is not the first time, or the second time they have plotted to remove our Governor, albeit illegally. Their plot is illegal, unconstitutional. In a legislature of 31 members, six members cannot go and sit in someone’s private sitting room and claim to have impeached a governor! That is impunity. This is a democracy. The Presidency should be careful not to truncate our democracy with all these their reckless acts of impunity.”
On its part, the PDP, Rivers State Chapter, said “it has no doubt that the recent trend of mass influx of suspected Boko Haram members into the states of the South-South and South-East is not unconnected with the consistent and unhidden revolutionary activities, as well as the series of calls and incitement by Governor Amaechi on people to revolt against the Federal Government.”
A statement by its spokesman, Jerry Needam, said: “The PDP strongly believes the Governor and his allies in the APC have visibly taken resolute position in doing everything possible to rubbish the image of President Jonathan’s administration, one of which is to use all mercenaries at their disposal to cause breach of public peace, killings, destruction and tension in the land.
“The PDP wonders why the mass movement of 486 suspected insurgents into the South three days after the National Convention of the APC in Abuja, during which Amaechi took time to address his fellow party members, as it was beamed live on national television, calling for revolution, charging them to be fully involved in the revolutionary movement which the APC is poised to carry out against the government in power.
The PDP believes there cannot be any explanation other than the fact that these suspects, who apparently had Port Harcourt as their final destination and discharge point, were brought in not without the consent of the governor and enemies of the Federal Government.
“The Party also recalls that during the APC’s registration exercise in Rivers State, Governor Amaechi masterminded similar incident where over 300 youths were moved in several buses from northern part of the country into the state, the purpose of which the PDP uncovered, was among other things, ostensibly, to register them as APC members in Rivers State. This mission to us is not prejudice to the fact that the Police had declared them suspected Boko Haram members.”