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Published On: Wed, Jul 23rd, 2014

Corruption: Reactions trail EFCC manhunt for Nyako

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From Umar Dankano,Yola

Reactions have continued to pour in as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) launched a manhunt for Admiral Mutala Nyako (Rtd), the ousted governor of Adamawa state.

Nyako was recently impeached by the members of the Adamawa state Assembly having been found culpable in the allegations of financial misconduct.

Already, the EFCC has declared the former Adamawa state government wanted to face charged of corruption while in office.

It could recalled that this medium reported exclusive that the office of the Attorney Genetal of the Federation and Minister of Justice had perfected plans to arrest Nyako to face charges of financial misappropriation and treason over a contentious letter he wrote to his fellow governors in the north alleging genocide by the federal government against the people of the north.

Publicity Secretary of All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state, Mr. Phineas Padio, in his reaction maintained that the plot to arrest Nyako was hatched even before the Adamawa lawmakers booted him out.

‘’I can assure you there will be robust and positive response from the party, ’’he stressed.

Padio further alleged that already federal authorities were considering the option of declaring Nyako wanted as a last resort to compel him to come out and face the gamut of charges prepared against him by both the office of the Attorney General of the Federation AGF, and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

The AGF, the party learnt, has been given marching orders by the Presidency to prepare charges that may send Nyako to prison for the rest of his life, if convicted.

“It was not based on the interest of the nation. Everything was arranged to pave the way to get Murtala Nyako incarcerated for other reasons other than the so called allegation of gross misconduct against him.

“So what we are saying here is that President Jonathan should tread with caution. This is not the time to heat the polity; this kind of steps have grave consequences for the unity of this country.

“Since he has sworn to protect the constitution of Nigeria and integrity of this nation, he should abide by what the law provides and stop this. This is a clearly vindictive because of the memo the governor wrote to northern governors,’’ Padio said.

However, Nyako’s spokesman, Sajoh Ahmed, said yesterday that his boss was not on the run. “Governor is not on the run. He left Yola on the same day of the impeachment. I don’t know where he is at the moment. I am now in my own house. It is wrong to say he is on the run,” he said.

He said “They (the then government of the day) set up General Olusegun Obasanjo, accused him of a coup, jailed him unjustifiably and he later came out of prison to become President; they orchestrated the impeachment of Ayo Fayose, today they have returned him as governor elect.

“We have no fears. They harassed former Central Bank Governor, Sanusi Lamido; today he is the Emir of Kano. So, if what they are doing has Allah’s support, he would elevate the people being humiliated. There is judgment of history, there is judgment of God. Today they are at the helm of affairs; it does not mean they will be at the helm of affairs tomorrow. They should also await Allah’s judgment.” Sajoh observed

But when contacted on phone yesterday, the Head of Media and Publicity of the EFCC, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, said that the Commission took the decision to search for Nyako because he had been elusive.

“Since Nyako, was removed, he has been elusive. So the Commission has devised a strategy to declare him wanted.

“The Commission is planning to declare him wanted if he refused to honour the invitation,” Uwujaren said.

He also confirmed that Nyako’s deputy, Mr. Bala Ngilari was grilled for about three hours by operatives of the EFCC at the headquarters of the commission on Tuesday.

“The former deputy governor was here. He responded to our invitation, he interacted with operatives for some hours.”

Reports indicate that the Commission had taken a decision to defreeze one of several accounts operated by the Adamawa State Government to enable the state pay outstanding salaries owed civil servants.

It was also learnt that the commission had not lifted the freeze order on the other accounts because they were still being investigated.

“One of the state government accounts, the salary accounts, has been de-frozen. The other ones have not been lifted because they are part of the investigation. This one was released so that the government could pay salaries; you know you cannot cripple the business of government,” sources said.

One of the top officials of the Nyako administration that might be used as a witness against him, is the man, who served for many years as the Secretary to the State Government, SSG, who has since been arrested and detained by the EFCC over the looting of the state’s funds.

An EFCC official said that it was in preparation for trying Nyako that the former SSG was being detained and questioned by its operatives.

“Yes, we are keeping the SSG and he is helping us in relation to the huge sum of money that was stolen under Nyako’s leadership. We are still looking for Nyako and we know that he has gone underground but we may be forced to declare him wanted, if he proves difficult,” the source said.

The Commission is also said to have arrested some other officials, who served under Nyako and transferred them to Abuja in preparation for the legal battle to retrieve the state funds.

 

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