The Adamawa State House of Assembly yesterday continued of its probe into the utilisation of public accounts of the state and unanimously agreed to serve Governor Murtala Nyako and his deputy, Bala James Ngillari, an impeachment notice.
This followed the discovery of alleged corrupt practices involving billions of naira in the administration.
Member representing Numan constituency, Hon. Kwamoti Laori, moved the motion to commence impeachment proceedings against the backdrop of massive graft by cabinet members, which the legislators felt had gone on for years with the alleged collusion of the governor.
Laori said the governor had committed act of gross misconduct in the discharge of his constitutional responsibilities.
The Speaker, Hon. Ahmed Fintiri, sustained the motion when the matter which the member insisted was a constitutional issue and was backed by substantial evidence.
Laori, who is also the Deputy Speaker of the Assembly, based his submission on 20 grounds of financial misconduct by the governor notable among which are fraudulent award of contract of over N8bn through SNECOU Group of Companies Limited.
The company, linked to one of the governor’s wives was alleged have been used to siphon public funds without delivering any services.
Other charges against the governor include corrupt siphoning of N300m through a company, Hydro Source Resources Ltd in the name of construction of Mubi Bypass without mobilising to site or any construction carried out after collecting N300m.
*Gross violation of oath of office by outrageous patronage and dominance of family and friend in the discharge of government business as found in the MDGs office, the SPPU and Ministry of Health.
*Squandering of N4.8bn and N7.1bn in 2012 and 2013 respectively through the Office of the Secretary to the State Government against budgetary approval and not in the interest of people of Adamawa State.
*Gross violation of Section 120 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) and gross misappropriation and diversion of internally generated revenue for personal use to the detriment of the people of Adamawa State.
*Expenditure of N2.5bn as “other miscellaneous expenses” through the Internal Affairs and Special Services Department.
*Diversion of over N400m out of the N500m Federal Government intervention fund for flood victims in Adamawa State in 2011.
The motion for Ngillari to be joined in the impeachment was moved by Hon. Abdulkarim Umar, representing Narrasawo/Binyeri constituency, who levelled financial misconduct, extra- budgetary expenditure running into N397.3m listed alongside six other financial misconducts.
He noted that the deputy governor committed an act of gross misconduct in the performance of his duties by the diversion of public funds to tune of N50m. The money was released by the Ministry of Finance following the instruction of the governor for acquiring licence for the exploration of solid minerals in the state.
The lawmakers also discovered that the MDGs Office of the state was being managed by Nyako’s close relations and had squandered N220m and N786.4m budgeted state’s funds meant for the implementation of some 2013 MDGs projects.
Other charges include abuse of office by appointing his wife, Dr. Halima Nyako, as the Chairman, Adamawa State Action Committee on AIDS, contrary to the SACA. His government is popularly nicknamed “Government of family and friends”.
*Strangulation of the local government areas and extortion of local government funds in the name of joint projects and security challenges in Mubi and other parts of Adamawa State, leaving many local government areas with nothing to pay workers’ entitlements.
The governor is also alleged to have consistently contravened Section 168 (60 and 8) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
However, there were rumoured protests following the impeachment notice but our correspondent did not see the protesters as they were said to have been dispersed by police.
Reacting to the impeachment notice, Nyako said that it was against the law of natural justice for Assembly to sit in judgement ona case it was the sole beneficiary, even as he denied that any notice had been served on him.
The Special Adviser to the Governor on Media, Ahmed Sajoh, told National Mirror that impeaching the governor and his deputy at once was unheard of, very strange and treacherous.
He said: “It is against the law of natural justice to sit at judgement in a case you are the sole beneficiary. You see what happened, they say that they have served us an impeachment letter but we have not seen any such letter.
“What is happening is strange. They want to impeach the governor and the deputy governor at the same time so that the Speaker will assume the acting governor while the deputy speaker will now become the Acting Speaker.
“The funniest aspect of it is that the issues they are referring to happened since 2007 and 2008. The most recent was in 2011. These issues happened before most of them became legislators. How come they are just noticing the offences now?”
The National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Chief Olisa Metuh, also declined to comment on the development, saying that it was an internal matter and did not concern the party.
Meanwhile, the Save Adamawa State Movement has described the impeachment notice as a welcome development and overdue.
The movement, in a statement in Abuja, noted that all the facts adduced by the legislators were key issues members of the group had been raising for about two years now.
The statement, signed by the Acting National Coordinator, Dr. Pally Poga, explained that the SASM resorted to court action to let the whole world be aware of Nyako’s misrule and lawless governance.
Poga said: “We had called for his resignation and or impeachment many times before now. Now that the gross maladministration, overbearing family and friends governance have weighed heavily on the citizens, we applaud the bold steps taken by the members of the Adamawa State House of Assembly.”
He commended the legislators for the bold step and applauded their courage in carrying out what it described as a noble cause.
Poga urged the members of the House of Assembly to remain focused and resolute to the course of salvaging the already battered state.
“We support totally every effort to set things right by the House members. No one should point fingers to the PDP, Presidency or some big men in Abuja. It is clear that none of these people are involved even remotely in the messy affairs of Nyako.
“We are aware of desperate moves to hang the exercise on primordial sentiments, but we do not see how corruption, nepotism, total lack of administrative ability and a capital failure are any tribe or religious insignia,” Poga added.