Hope glimmers for the impeached former governor of Adamawa State, Murtala Nyako. Glad tidings of great joy rode on the crest of the last Friday’s statement by Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, Lagos that he would rule on a suit seeking his possible reinstatement on November 7.
The suit, filed on July 15 by a Lagos-based lawyer Olukoya Ogungbeje, challenged the legality of the former governor’s impeachment. According to Ogungbeje, the impeachment was a clear violation of due process, hence his call on the court to reinstate Nyako. Joined in the suit filed by the Lagos-based lawyer are: former acting governor of Adamawa State, Mr Umaru Fintiri; Adamawa State House of Assembly, the Acting Chief Judge of the state, Justice Ambrose Mammadi, the Chairman of the seven-member panel which investigated allegations of gross misconduct against Nyako, Justice Buba Kajama; the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Inspector General of Police (IGP). However, the defence counsel’s had submitted that the court lacked jurisdiction to entertain the case, arguing that the suit challenging the governor’s impeachment could be filed in the state where it was done.
Calling the suit an abuse of court process, the counsel also cited the fact that Nyako had also instituted action challenging his impeachment at an Adamawa State High Court in Yola.
Ogungbeje, in his response, had urged Justice Abang to discountenance the defence counsel’s arguments, citing the judgement of the Federal High Court in Abuja, which had held that Nyako’s deputy, Mr James Ngilari did not resign in the eyes of the law, as paving the way for Justice Abang to write his name in gold by reinstating Nyako. This latest development implies that Nyako is back in contention with Ngilari and Fintiri for the Adamawa Government House.
–– Vincent Obia