The controversy surrounding the resignation of Bala Ngilari as the Adamawa State Deputy Governor continued on Wednesday with the principal character stating that he was cornered into resigning the way he did.
Mr. Ngilari’s resignation was read on the floor of the Adamawa Assembly on Tuesday and accepted by the lawmakers few minutes before the then state governor, Murtala Nyako, was impeached. His resignation has been questioned by Mr. Nyako and other lawyers who argue that since the then governor was still in office then, Mr. Ngilari should have submitted his resignation letter to Mr. Nyako.
On Wednesday, Mr. Ngilari said he was aware of the constitutional provision but was boxed to a corner by the lawmakers.
“The truth is that I have not sent any letter of resignation to the governor up till now,” Mr. Ngilari told journalists on phone late on Tuesday. “The representatives of the House only came to my house yesterday (Monday) asking me to tender my resignation and address the letter to the Speaker of the House which I did”.
He added that “When the lawmakers led by the deputy speaker met and asked me to write the resignation, I wrote it to the governor. But they asked me to change it and address it to the speaker”.
He said he simply acceded to the request of the lawmakers to send his resignation letter to the then Speaker of the Adamawa State Assembly, Umaru Fintiri, who has since been sworn in as acting governor.
Mr. Nyako had on Tuesday called for the reinstatement of his deputy, which would have seen the latter being sworn in as the governor of the state.
Mr. Nyako, who spoke through his spokesperson, in a statement cited Section 306 (5) of the Nigeria constitution, which requires the deputy to send his resignation letter to the sitting Governor.
Mr. Nyako said since he was then still the sitting governor, the resignation letter should have been addressed to him.
“No such 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. Barrister Bala James Ngillari is still the Deputy Governor of Adamawa state,” Ahmad Sajoh, Director, Press and Public Affairs, Governor’s Office, said in the Tuesday statement.
“This clarification is necessary to avert another subversion of the constitution, since the order processes relating to the impeachment saga have all been in contravention of the constitution and the law. We wish to observe that the continued abuse of the constitution and the law of the land will spell doom for our democracy,” he added.