Ngilari prays court to order his reinstatement as Adamawa Governor

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By Abdulwahab Abdulah

Former deputy governor of Adamawa State, Mr. James Ngilari has prayed a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja to order the state chief justice to inaugurate him as the substantive Governor of Adamawa State.

In his originating summon, Ngilari hinged his argument  on the ground that he did not formally resign from his office as Deputy Governor as stipulated by the Constitution.

He was asking for an order of the Court directing the Chief Judge of Adamawa State (or Acting Chief Judge, as the case may be) or the President of the Customary Court of Appeal to swear him as the substantive Governor of Adamawa State.

Joined as defendants in the suit were the Speaker of Adamawa State House of Assembly, the State House of Assembly, the acting state governor, ex-Governor Murtala Nyako, Rtm Hon Ahmadu Umaru and the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.

The originating summons was brought pursuant to Order 2 Rule 2 and  Order 3 Rules 6 and 7 of the Federal High Court civil procedure Rules 2009 and Section 272(3) of the  1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended.

Nggilari wants the court to determine among others whether  by the provisions of sections 306(1), (2) & (5) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), he, as Deputy Governor of Adamawa State, resigned his office by addressing a letter of resignation dated the 15th of July, 2014 to the 1st Defendant (Speaker, Adamawa State House of Assembly).

Also he prayed the court to determine whether by the provisions of sections 306(1), (2) & (5) of the 1999 Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), “the Plaintiff’s purported resignation as Deputy Governor of Adamawa State took effect when the purported Letter of Resignation of the Plaintiff was received by the 1st Defendant (Speaker, Adamawa State House of Assembly) on the 15th of July, 2014.”

And whether by the provisions of sections 306(1), (2) & (5) of the 1999 Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), the declaration of the office of the Deputy Governor of Adamawa State (occupied by the Plaintiff at the material time) vacant vide the Votes and Proceedings of Tuesday, July 15th, 2014 was legal and constitutional.

He also want the court to find out whether by the sequence of the legislative business of the 2nd Defendant as contained in the transcript of the Votes and Proceedings of the Adamawa State House of Assembly (2nd Defendant) of Tuesday, July 15th, 2014, the 5th Defendant (Murtala Nyako) was still the Governor of Adamawa State at the time the 1st and 2nd Defendants received, accepted and acted upon the purported letter of resignation of the Plaintiff (Barr. Bala James Nggilari) to declare his seat vacant.

Ngillari maintained that if he has not resigned as stipulated by sections 306(1), (2) & (5) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), he urged the court. To determine whether he should not have been sworn in as the substantive Governor of Adamawa State after the impeachment of Gov. Murtala Nyako on line with the provisions of section 191(1) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), he as Deputy Governor of Adamawa State.

The ex-deputy governor therefore prayed for a declaration that by the combined provisions of section 306 (1), (2) and (5) of the 1999 Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) the Plaintiff (Barr. Bala James Nggilari), as Deputy Governor of Adamawa State, did not resign his office by addressing a letter of resignation dated 15th July, 2014 to the 1st Defendant (Speaker, Adamawa State House of Assembly).

He also sought for a declaration that by virtue of section 191(1) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), after the impeachment of Murtala Nyako (5th Defendant) as Governor of Adamawa Sate, that he ought to be sworn in as Governor of Adamawa State.

He therefore prayed for an order of injunction restraining the 6th Defendant (INEC) whether by itself, its agents, servants, privies, officers or otherwise howsoever, from conducting a bye-election to fill the office of the Governor of Adamawa State as a consequence of the impeachment of the 5th Defendant (Murtala Nyako) and the purported/unconstitutional resignation of the Plaintiff (Barr. Bala James Nggilari) as Deputy Governor of Adamawa State.

Beside he prayed the court for an order of court removing the 3rd Defendant (Rt. Hon. Ahmadu Umaru) as the Acting Governor of Adamawa State forthwith.

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