Anxiety as Adamawa House meets on Nyako’s, deputy’s fate

By Yusuf Alli
In Nigeria
Jul 14th, 2014
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Adamawa State lawmakers are meeting today to consider the report of the seven-man Investigative Panel which investigated allegations of misconduct against Governor Murtala Nyako and his deputy, Bala Ngilari.

There is anxiety in the state, following the speculation that the Assembly might impeach Nyako and Ngilari, who never appeared before the panel.

It was learnt that some lawmakers in Abuja might be flown to Yola in a chartered jet for today’s sitting.

Members of the Assembly have been directed to report for a session to consider the panel’s report.

Members of the panel, led by Buba Kaigama (Mubi Northern Zone), are: Laraba Hassan (Michika Northern Zone), Njidda Kito (Song Central Zone), Joshua Abu (Hong Central Zone), Binanu Esthon (Guyuk Southern Zone), Sa’ad Lawan (Mayo-Belwa Southern Zone) and Esthon Gapsiso (Genye Southern Zone).

A source said: “The Assembly will meet on Monday to receive the report of the Kaigama Panel and decide whether or not to impeach the governor and his deputy in line with Section 188 of the 1999 Constitution.

“Barring last-minute horse-trading, the Assembly may impeach the two leaders after getting the report.

“The only challenge facing the state is that it does not have an acting Chief Judge who can swear in the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Umaru Fintiri.

“But the most senior judge or the president of the Customary Court of Appeal or the Grand Khadi of the Sharia Court of Appeal may be asked to inaugurate the acting governor.”

Another source spoke of how all the lawmakers were being recalled. “Those behind the impeachment are so desperate to hire a chartered jet to convey some of the Assembly members from Abuja to Yola,” he said.

The provision for the removal of a governor and his deputy is contained in Section 188 (1-11) of the 1999 Constitution.

The section says: “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.

“Within seven days of the passing of a motion under the foregoing provisions of this section, the Chief Judge of the State shall at the request of the Speaker of the House of Assembly, appoint a panel of seven persons who in his opinion are of unquestionable integrity, not being members of any public service, legislative house or political party, investigate the allegation as provided in this section.

“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 legal practitioner of his own choice.

“A panel appointed under this section shall (a) have such powers and exercise its functions in accordance with such procedure as may be prescribed by the House of Assembly; and (b) within three months of its appointment, reports its findings to the House of Assembly.

“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.

“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.

“No proceedings or determination of the panel or of the House of Assembly or any matter relating to such proceedings or determination shall be entertained or questioned in any court.

“In this section, ‘gross misconduct’ means a grave violation or breach of the provisions of this Constitution or a misconduct of such nature as amounts in the opinion in the House of Assembly to gross misconduct.”

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