Almost a month after it carried out the impeachment of Adamawa State governor, Murtala Nyako, the state House of Assembly has finally notified the Independent National Commission (INEC) of the vacancy in the state’s Government House.
However, the assembly, in a bid to cover up some of its illegalities, informed the electoral umpire that the former deputy governor, Barrister Bala James Ngilari, submitted his resignation to Nyako before he was impeached and that he accepted his deputy’s resignation.
The House of Assembly in a letter dated August 5, 2014, with reference number ADHA/GEN/S/12), asked INEC to fill the positions of the governor and deputy governor within the three-month period required by the 1999 Constitution.
The letter reads: “You may wish to be informed that the Honourable House of Assembly on the 15th of July 2014, pursuant to Section 188 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) impeached the Executive Governor of Adamawa State, Murtala Nyako.
“The Deputy Governor, Barrister Bala James Ngilarri, on the 15th of July 2014, in accordance with the provisions of Section 306 tendered his resignation letter, which was accepted by the former governor before his impeachment.
“In compliance with the provisions of Section 191(2) of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), the Honourable Speaker of the House of Assembly was sworn-in as the Acting Governor of the state.
“The acting period specified by the Constitution is three months during which elections shall be held to fill the vacant positions of the Governor and the Deputy Governor.
“You are by this letter notified to make the necessary preparations to conduct elections into the offices of the State Governor and Deputy Governor”.
It would be recalled that in their desperate bid to sack the governor and his deputy from office, the state assembly lawmakers had forced Ngilari to address his purported resignation letter to the Speaker of the House, so as to save him the shame of impeachment.
But it is public knowledge that Nyako has since rejected his deputy’s resignation, saying it was illegal, null and void, since the letter was not addressed to him as stipulated in sections 306(1), (2) & (5) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).
Ngilari is also currently before a Federal High Court in Abuja seeking his declaration as substantive governor of Adamawa State.