By Soni Daniel, Northern Region Editor
ABUJA— Forty-eight hours after Governor Murtala Nyako was removed from office, details of how the game plan was hatched and implemented by the House of Assembly have emerged.
A top source at the Assembly told Vanguard that the deputy governor, Bala Ngilari, who was billed to take over from Nyako, having not been found culpable of any offence, was reportedly tricked to resign as the only condition for the House leadership to impeach the governor and clear the way for him to take over.
The House, made up of mostly anti-Nyako elements, it was learnt, had convinced Ngilari that it was only after he had put in his resignation letter that they could commence the process of impeaching Nyako.
The pro impeachment lawmakers, who wanted the Speaker, Ahmadu Fintiri to take over from Nyako instead of Ngilari, made it clear to the deputy governor that it was better for him to resign and be installed as the governor than be impeached and sent packing.
Apparently not suspecting any foul play by the lawmakers, the then deputy governor rushed a three paragraph resignation letter and handed it over to the Speaker with the hope that he would be announced as a replacement for Nyako.
However, few minutes after he had handed over the letter and with mounting expectation that he would be named the next governor, the lawmakers shocked Ngilari with an announcement that he had voluntarily resigned to avoid being impeached.
They did not read to the portion of the report indicting him along with Nyako and why he had surreptitiously quit his position before the offences against him were made public.
A top government official said in Yola, yesterday, that Ngilari played into the hands of his opponents in the House of Assembly by accepting to direct the letter of his resignation to the House of Assembly when the law expected him to hand it over to the governor of the state.
The source said that it was when Ngilari realised that he had been deceived that he complained that he had been hoodwinked into resigning.
It was the complaint by Ngillari that compelled Nyako to distance himself from the claim that his deputy resigned and asked his aide to issue a counter statement on the matter.
Nyako, who spoke through his Director of Press and Public Affairs, Mr. Ahmed Sajoh, said: “Our attention has been drawn to the purported resignation of the Deputy Governor of Adamawa State Mr. James Ngillari, which was supposedly read on the floor of the State House of Assembly.
“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 Governor resigns 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 letter 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. Mr. James Ngillari is still the Deputy Governor of Adamawa State.
It was gathered that the Presidency was contemplating compensating Ngilari with a top appointment because of his loyalty to Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
He is said to have lost out at the last minute for trying to strike a deal with Nyako to escape impeachment or work with the former governor’s son in case of impeachment.