Tuesday, July 15, 2014 4:42 pm
Governor Murtala Nyako of Adamawa State, in north eastern part of Nigeria, was today impeached by the state legislature.
Impeachment means he is automatically sacked as governor of the state.
To carry this out, 18 out of 25 members signed the impeachment.
After this, the House of Assembly named the Speaker, Umaru Fintiri, as the Acting governor to be sworn in.
However, Nyako’s deputy, Bala Ngilari, had resigned his own position, before the assembly came out with its decision.
To elect a substantive governor, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, will, within 90 days, organise a new election.
Earlier today, the Adamawa lawmakers sat and considered the report submitted by the seven-man investigative panel that investigated and indicted Nyako.
Nyako was accused, among other things, of “diversion of N2.3 billion workers’ salary for September and October 2011; illegal deductions and diversion of N142 million emoluments of workers in May 2014 and, against budgetary approvals, squandering of N4.8 billion and N7.1 billion in 2012 and 2013,” in that order, with the instrumentality of the office of the secretary to the government.
The impeachment was well expected, with the way the process was conducted by the Assembly.
First of all, the acting chief judge of the state, who constituted the panel to investigate the allegations of the governor, was forced at gun point to constitute a panel of investigation.
Despite that the governor declared public holiday to frustrate the panel from sitting, the panel still sat. Even though the constitution, prescribes a 30-day investigation period, the panel was quick to arrive at a judgement, without the governor or his deputy testifying.
The governor is meanwhile in the court to challenge the legality of the whole impeachment proceedings.
Impeachment has always been used in Nigeria by the dominant party in the state legislature to remove an incumbent governor, the first being on 23 June, 1981 in Kaduna state, when the leftist governor, Abdulkadir Balarabe Musa of the Peoples Redemption Party was removed by members of the National Party of Nigeria, the ruling party at the centre.
In Adamawa, Nyako belongs to the opposition All Progressives Congress, while the dominant members of the state assembly, belong to the Peoples Democratic Party. Nyako was elected twice on the platform of the PDP and is less than a year to the end of his tenure.