Nigerian court halts Adamawa governorship election

Nigerian court halts Adamawa governorship election

Wednesday, October 8, 2014 1:04 pm

Nnamdi Felix / Abuja

A federal high court siting in Abuja has restrained the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, from going ahead with the scheduled governorship bye election slated for Saturday, 11th October, 2014, following the declaration that the purported resignation of the deputy governor,Bala James Ngilari, on 15th July, was null and void.

The court presided by Justice Ademola Adeniyi held that the swearing in of Umar Fintiri as Acting Governor is illegal,null and void as the purported resignation of Ngilari minutes before the impeachment of Mrutala Nyako did not comply with the provisions of section 306 (1) and (2) of the Constitution.

The sections under reference provide that a deputy governor wishing to resign from office must tender his resignation letter to the governor.

In this instance, the resignation letter of the deputy governor was said to have been addressed to the Speaker of the Adamawa state House of Assembly which read the resignation letter before following up with the impeachment of Nyako.

Fintiri who was the then Speaker of the House of Assembly was thereafter sworn into office as the Acting Governor and subsequently emerged as the Flag bearer of the Peoples. Democratic Party, PDP,for the scheduled governorship election.

Justice Ademola ordered INEC to swear in Ngilari as the substantive governor of the state to complete the tenure of office to which he was elected alongside the impeached former governor Murtala Nyako so that he will complete their term of office which will end in May 29,  2015.

Ngilari had approached the court seeking for an order to compell the Chief Judge of the Adamawa state to swear him in as governor of the state following the impeachment of  Murtala Nyako. The House of Assembly had declared his office vacant on July 15 after his purported resignation.He urged the court to restrain the Independent National Electoral Commission from conducting bye-election to fill the vacant governorship seat following the impeachment of Murtala Nyako. He denied resigning his position within the contemplation of the provision of Section 306(1), (2) & (5) of the Constitution, insisted that the purported resignation letter he sent to the Speaker was not meant to be acted on by the House of Assembly.

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