Posted by News Express | 8 July 2014 | 3,863 times
There are strong indications that the Federal Government, through the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Bello Adoke, SAN, will soon file a six-count treason charge against embattled Governor Murtala Nyako of Adamawa State.
The planned legal action is hinged on a letter Governor Nyako wrote to the Northern States Governors’ Forum (NSGF), accusing the Federal Government and President Goodluck Jonathan of genocide against northerners.
A competent source in the AGF’s office said that the Federal Government would soon file the case against the governor. The source said with the planned impeachment of the governor by the House of Assembly, the major hurdles to the move which is his immunity would have been removed.
Asked on the immunity from criminal prosecution which governors enjoy, the source said the suit could be initiated now and whenever the governor is out of office the prosecution will begin.
The source said: “The Federal Government is currently waiting for the embattled governor to be impeached by the Adamawa State House of Assembly because of Section 308 of the Nigerian Constitution which grants immunity to the President, the Vice President, Governors and Deputy Governors.”
He said that Nyako would be charged before a Federal High Court in Abuja.
The governor had on April 16, 2014 written a letter to the NSGF, accusing the Federal Government of embarking on what he called “full-fledged genocide in the North.”
Nyako noted that the adverse security situation in the North in particular and Nigeria in general was being felt by all, stressing: “While every state government is doing everything possible using virtually all its resources to stem the tide of near disaster facing all of us especially in the North, it is a well-known fact that the present federal administration has now become a government of impunity run by an evil-minded leadership for the advancement of corruption that is apparently enjoying the protection of the federal administration as a citizen of this country should enjoy but is being denied by the administration using its mass murderers/cut-throats imbedded in our legitimate and traditional defence and security organisations.”
Meanwhile, Nyako, who has remained in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) since last weekend consulting with stakeholders on how to avert his removal from office by the State House of Assembly, is on his way to Saudi Arabia, officially for the Lesser Hajj but believed to be a smart way to stay out of trouble immediately after his expected impeachment.
The governor’s associates confided last night that one of Nyako’s aides would announce his resignation while in Saudi Arabia. They said that the governor was not in a hurry to return to the state to announce his resignation from office, adding that any of his aides or political associates can do so on his behalf.
Earlier yesterday, news filtered into the state that Governor Nyako would arrive Yola from Abuja to publicly announce his exit from office. When offices were shut for government business, the rumour mill had it that Nyako would return to the state via a chartered flight and after breaking his fast would announce his decision.
When the fast was broken and there was no further information on the governor’s whereabouts and his continued stay in office, some of his political associates had to informally speak on the new development.
One of them, who sought anonymity, said: “I can categorically tell you that our governor is not returning to the state immediately. He is going to Saudi Arabia any moment from now for the Lesser Hajj. While in that country, any of his aides or associates can announce his resignation from office on his behalf. There is nowhere in the nation’s constitution that only the governor can declare his resignation from office.”
Governor Nyako’s move is seen as an attempt to avoid being embarrassed out of office by the lawmakers, who have began the probe of the allegations of gross misconduct they levelled against him.
Already, the seven-man probe panel set up by the state Acting Chief Judge Ambrose Mammadi has swung into action despite the two-day public holidays declared by the state government at the weekend to prevent the inauguration of the committee.
Chief Registrar of the Adamawa High Court, Abubakar Babayola, told newsmen that the inauguration of the committee was not a constitutional requirement.
The committee yesterday had its maiden meeting amidst tight security at J & J Holiday Villa, located at Atirwucha Close in Karewa Government Reserved Area (GRA), in the state capital.
The Assembly, which condemned the forced holidays, said it was ill-timed and self-serving.
In a statement signed by the Chairman, House Committee on Information, Mr. Adamu Kamale, the House contended that the declaration of the public holidays could have been more appropriate when Adamawa State lost many of its indigenes in violent attacks by gunmen in Numan, Lamurde, Michika, Madagali, Maiha, Ganye, among others in the past.
The Assembly also chided the state government for its failure to settle workers’ salaries, adding that “information available to the House showed that Adamawa State Salary Account had not be frozen by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, but the capital account.”
•Pieced together from reports in Peoples Daily and Nigerian Pilot Nigerian Pilot. Photo shows Governor Nyako.
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