By Emmanuel Aziken, Political Editor and Umar Yusuf
Governor Murtala Nyako of Adamawa State is fighting for his political life as his determined political opponents move to shove him out of office
The impeachment drama playing out in Adamawa State took another turn yesterday after the embattled governor of the state, Murtala Nyako declared a two day public holiday purportedly to enable the citizenry to pray over the issues that have recently bestirred the state.
The declaration of the two day public holiday was, however, largely seen as a masterstroke on the part of the governor to cripple the move against him given that the Chief Judge of the state who belatedly constituted the impeachment panel was due to retire today. By declaring the public holiday it was expected that the inauguration of the impeachment panel would be delayed.
However, the panel waved away the machination as it commenced sitting yesterday in a private hotel, J & J Holiday Villa in Yola.
The decision of the panel to proceed with its duties it was learnt had demoralized the governor and fueled suggestions that the governor was considering resigning from office.
Remarkably those who have positioned themselves for the governor’s jugular have remained undaunted despite the seeming conciliatory gestures of Nyako. Nyako was first elected as governor in 2007 and reelected for a second term in 2011. He, however, decamped from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP the party on whose platform he won his two elections folloing strong disagreements with the mainstream of the party led by the immediate past national chairman of the party, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur.
Nyako had in the past proved to be pugnacious against the president and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP and even against former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar who had in the past come out to save him in difficult times.
The 20 point allegations against Nyako
1. Fraudulent diversion of N2.3 Billion Adamawa state worker’s salaries for September and October 2011.
2. Illegal deductions and diversion of the sum of N142 million employment of Adamawa state workers in May 2014.
3. Diversion of N120 million public funds to sponsor fictitious visits of General Muhammadu Buhari to Adamawa sate to commiserate with flood victims of insurgents attacks in Madagali and Michika local government areas.
4. Extra-budgetary expenditure of N1, 740, 785 on fictitious special assistants and another N166, 230, 536.88 on personal assistants in 2013.
5. Fraudulent award of contract of over N8 Billion through SNECOU Group of Companies Ltd allegedly to siphon public funds without delivering any service to the people of Adamawa state.
6. Corrupt siphoning of the sum of N300 million public funds through a company, Hydrosources Resources Ltd in the name of Mubi By-pass without mobilising to site or any construction carried out long after collecting the N300 million from Adamawa state funds.
7. Gross violation of the oath of office by outrageous patronage and dominance of family and friends in the discharge of government such as MGDs office, the SPPU and ministry of Health.
8. Gross violation of section 120 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended and gross misappropriation and diversion of internally Generated Revenue for personal use to the detriment of the people.
9. Squandering the sum of N4, 805, 216, 538 and N7, 114, 590.85 in 2012 and 2013 respectively through the office of the SSG against budgetary approvals.
10. Expenditures of exorbitant sum of N2.5 billion as other miscellaneous expenses through the internal affairs and special services units.
11. Extra budgetary procurement of fertiliser and diversion of proceeds from the sales of same from 2007 to date.
12. The MDGs office is managed by the governor’s close relations and has squandered N220 million and N786, 644.94 unbudgeted funds in 2013 for the implementation of MDGs programme.
13. Diversion of over N400 million out of the N500 million federal government intervention funds for flood victims in 2011.
14. Diversion of government funds through illegal importation of hospital equipment to the tune of N156 million while the state still owes the contractor and illegal acquisition of containerized mobile workshop for vocational training centers.
15. Corruption and extra budgetary award of contracts for the construction of Army Barracks road, Mayo Belwa Road; Pella to Maiha Road; Gombi to Ga’anda to Fotta Road; Rumde to Yolde Pate Road; construction of mubi bypass, contrary to section 120 (2), (3) and (4) of the construction of the Federal Republic of Nigerian 1999.
16. Squandering of N1 billion Adamawa German Hospital, managed by close a relation to the Governor.
17. Shoddy conception and operation of Adamawa German Hospital, managed by close relation to the Governor.
18. Abuse of office and violation of Adamawa state law by the appointment of his wife, Dr. Halima Nyako as chairman, Adamawa state action committee on Aids, (SACA) contrary to SACA law.
19. Over bearing strangulation of the local government areas and extortion of local government funds in the name of joint account projects and security challenges in mubi and other parts of the state.
20. Alleged of corrupt practices.
Seven steps to the removal of a governor: Date done
1- An allegation signed by at least one-third of the members of the House of Assembly June 18, 2014
2. Speaker serves notice on governor and members of House of Assembly within seven days of receiving notice June 28, 2014
3 – House resolves by motion whether or not to investigate the allegations June 26, 2014
4 – Speaker directs Chief Judge to appoint a seven man panel to investigate the allegations within seven days of adoption of motion to investigate governor. July 4, 2014
5- Panel submits its report within three months to House of Assembly. ???????
6- House of Assembly votes on panel report within 14 days of submission of report.
The governor stands removed if two-thirds of the House votes that the allegations
against the governor have been proved. ??????
7. The governor loses his position is turned to an ordinary citizen. ??????
Constitutional provisions on the removal of a governor
188. (1) The Governor or Deputy Governor of a state may Removal of Governor be removed from office in accordance with the provisions or Deputy Governor of this section. from office.
(2) Whenever a notice of any allegation in writing signed by not less than one-third of the members of the House of Assembly.
(b) stating that the holder of such office is guilty of gross misconduct in the performance of the functions of his office, detailed particulars of which shall be specified.
the speaker of the House of Assembly shall, within seven days of the receipt of the notice, cause a copy of the notice to be served on the holder of the office and on each member of the House of Assembly, and shall also cause any statement made in reply to the allegation by the holder of the office, to be served on each member of the House of Assembly.
(3) Within fourteen days of the presentation of the notice to the speaker of the House of Assembly (whether or not any statement was made by the holder of the office in reply to the allegation contained in the notice-, the House of Assembly shall resolve by motion, without any debate whether or not the allegation shall be investigated.
(4) A motion of the House of Assembly that the allegation be investigated shall not be declared as having been passed unless it is supported by the votes of not less than two-thirds majority of all the members of the House of Assembly.
(5) Within seven days of the passing of a motion under the foregoing provisions of this section, the Chief judge of the State shall at the request of the speaker of the House of Assembly, appoint a Panel of seven persons who in his opinion are of unquestionable integrity, not being members of any public service, legislative house or political party, to investigate the allegation as provided in this section.
(6) The holder of an office whose conduct is being investigated under this section shall have the right to defend himself in person or be represented before the panel by a legal practitioner of his own choice.
(7) A Panel appointed under this section shall -
(a) have such powers and exercise its functions in accordance with such procedure as may be prescribed by the House of Assembly; and
(b) within three months of its appointment, report its findings to the House of Assembly.
(8) Where the Panel reports to the House of Assembly that the allegation has not been proved, no further proceedings shall be taken in respect of the matter.
(9) Where the report of the Panel is that the allegation against the holder of the office has been proved, then within fourteen days of the receipt of the report, the house of Assembly shall consider the report, and if by a resolution of the House of Assembly supported by not less than two-thirds majority of all its members, the report of the Panel is adopted, then the holder of the office shall stand removed form office as from the date of the adoption of the report.
(10) No proceedings or determination of the Panel or of the House of Assembly or any matter relating to such proceedings or determination shall be entertained or questioned in any court.
(11) In this section -
“gross misconduct” means a grave violation or breach of the provisions of this Constitution or a misconduct of such nature as amounts in the opinion in the House of Assembly to gross misconduct.