I’m ready to defend N6bn debt allegation, says Nyako

By Yusuf Alli
In Nigeria
Jul 18th, 2014
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Three die as youths protest plot to sack Nasarawa governor

Former Adamawa State Governor Murtala Nyako remained defiant yesterday, saying he is ready to defend his integrity.

Security agencies and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) are after Nyako, who was impeached in hazy circumstances on Tuesday, but he remains in high spirits, according to an aide.

Nyako is accused by Acting Governor Umaru Fintiri of plunging the state into a N6billion debt.

He said the loans he took, including the controversial N6billion, were approved by the House of Assembly.

Also yesterday, The Nation learnt that former Deputy Governor Bala James Ngillari was under pressure to go to court to seek his reinstatement as acting governor “because he was forced to resign”.

Nyako, who spoke through his Director of Press and Public Affairs, Ahmad Sajoh, said he had nothing to hide on his tenure.

He said: “Admiral Murtala Nyako is ready to defend himself on any allegation in an open court and under a fair system.

“But he said in a system where impunity is the order of the day, he cannot get a fair hearing. How do you expect a goat to get fair hearing in a court presided over by wolves?”

On the alleged N6billion debt left behind by Nyako administration, Nyako’s spokesman said: “The Acting Governor has not even settled down; he has not been briefed by those in charge and he is declaring debts of about N6billion.

“This shows that the Acting Governor is acting a script. We knew the script was written long ago; they will release sleaze materials to vilify Nyako. That is why they have sent security agents and EFCC operatives after him to cast aspersion on Admiral Nyako.

“If Nyako left N6billion debt, all the loans or debts were approved by the House of Assembly, which was presided over by the Acting Governor in his capacity as the Speaker. So, you can see that they are acting a script.

“The whole thing borders on what Nyako said about how President Goodluck Jonathan is tackling the insurgency in the country. They were not happy and they decided to remove him from office. But is he not being vindicated now?”

Ngillari’s plan to go to court is believed to have the backing of

Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chief, including some National Assembly members.

The plot will lead to Fintiri’s removal.

Investigation by our correspondent revealed that some stakeholders were unhappy that Ngilari was forced to resign without following the provision of the 1999 Constitution. A source said: “Ngillari was either forced or frightened to write the resignation letter by members of the House of Assembly.

“But they shot themselves in the foot when they asked him to write the resignation letter to the Speaker, instead of the governor.

“What happened was that Ngillari, on Tuesday, wrote the governor on his resignation from office.

“But in their desperation to remove the former governor, the House of Assembly asked Ngilari to write the Speaker directly because Nyako was in Abuja and it would take time for him to communicate Ngillari’s decision to the Assembly.

“Ngilari withdrew the resignation letter he sent to the governor and wrote a fresh one to the Speaker, which was a violation of Section 306(5) of 1999 Constitution.”

Sajoh had in a statement said: “We wish to state categorically that Section 306 (5) of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended requires that the deputy resign not to the House of Assembly but to the Governor. As at the time the supposed resignation was said to have been tendered in the House, Murtala H. Nyako was the governor of Adamawa State.

“No such was written to him, none was received by him and none was approved by him. It should, therefore, be known that in the eyes of the law, the deputy governor has not resigned. Barrister Bala James Ngillari is still the Deputy Governor of Adamawa State.

“This clarification is necessary to avert another subversion of the constitution, since the order processes relating to the impeachment saga have all been in contravention of the constitution and the law. We wish to observe that the continued abuse of the constitution and the law of the land will spell doom for our democracy.”


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