With the axe of impeachment dangling over his head and that of his boss, Governor Murtala Nyako, Adamawa State Deputy Governor, Barrister Bala James Ngillari, yesterday expressed surprise at the stand taken by Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) stakeholders towards him in spite of his loyalty to President Goodluck Jonathan.
Speaking with journalists in Yola, the state capital, Ngillari said as a leader of the party in Adamawa State, the stakeholders ought to have given him a fair hearing before moving for his removal from office.
Ngillari, who did not defect to the All Progressives Congress (APC) with Nyako, was included in the impeachment notice after some PDP stakeholders and aspirants, who felt he would be the ultimate beneficiary, threatened to oppose the governor’s removal if his deputy was not affected.
He said: “Sometimes, it is difficult to forgive people who you trusted and they failed you. I am a total and unrepentant supporter of this president because no human being brought him in, it is God. The issue of stakeholders asking me to leave is like throwing the baby with the bath water. In such situation you get to know who your true friends are. Not all of them buy the idea. But this is a leader of your party, you cannot give me the benefit of making a presentation before you? May be somebody in Abuja or Madagali is dictating it”.
He denied ever diverting N50 million released to his office for acquisition of license for mineral exploration in the state.
“It is not for me to disprove the allegations because the onus of proof lies with the House of Assembly. I have taken the burden just to clear my name for posterity and my integrity. I repeat that not a single kobo was diverted, all the monies were used for the purpose meant so they should look for another offence with which to impeach me”, he stated.
On allegations that he misled the governor to invest in exploration of mineral resources to the detriment of the people, Mr. Ngillari said the mineral deposits in the state were the key to the economic future of the state, hence investing in the sector should be of topmost priority.
The deputy governor argued that the failure of the State House of Assembly to serve him the impeachment notice in person within seven days, had rendered the current impeachment move invalid as the Supreme Court had settled the matter in the case of former Governor Peter Obi of Anambra State, where the apex court ruled that such notice must be served personally.