Adamawa Bye-Elections Cancelled

October 9, 2014

The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has ordered the Chief Judge of Adamawa State to immediately swear-in Mr Bala Ngilari as the Governor of the State. This is just three days to the bye-election scheduled by INEC in the state. The initial governor, Nyako, was impeached by lawmakers after reviewing the report of a panel of inquiry set up to investigate allegations of financial impropriety against him and his deputy (Ngilari ).

Mr Ngilari was earlier reported to have resigned from office to avoid being impeached by the lawmakers alongside Mr Nyako. While Mr Fintiri was sworn-in as the Acting Governor after the House impeached the Murtala Nyako. However, Mr. Ngilari, whose office was declared vacant on July 15 by the state’s lawmakers after he purportedly resigned, later challenged the legality of his resignation and filed a suit before the Federal High Court in Abuja, seeking an order compelling his swearing in as the governor of the state.

He revealed that his resignation letter was in breach of the provisions of sections 306(1), (2) and (5) of the 1999 Constitution because it was addressed to the Speaker and acted upon by the House of Assembly. But based on constitutional requirement, a deputy governor can only resign by submitting his letter of resignation to the governor.

Justice Adeniyi Ademola of The Federal High Court, while delivering his judgment, ruled that Ngilari’s letter was written at a time when Nyako had not been removed, thus implying that the letter ought to have gone through Nyako as then governor, which it did not, thus rendering the resignation null and void.

The Judge declared Fintiri’s occupation of the Governor’s office as illegal and ordered the State’s Chief Judge or President of the Customary Court of Appeal to swear in Ngilari forthwith. The court also ruled that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should not conduct the bye-election scheduled for October 11. The oath of office was administered by the President, Customary Court of appeal Justice Andu Lagre and Ngilari has appointed Mallam Chubado Tijani as his chief of Staff. Meanwhile, Governor Nyako’s suit challenging his impeachment by the Assembly is still on going.