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Published On: Wed, Jul 9th, 2014

Nyako: Panel secures venue, begins probe tomorrow

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Gov.-Murtala-NyakoFrom Umar Dankano, Yola

The seven-man probe panel raised by the former Acting Chief Judge of Adamawa state, Justice Ambrose Mammadi, to investigate allegations of gross misconduct against Governor Murtala Nyako and his deputy, James Ngillari, has finally secured a venue for its assignment.

The panel, which is billed to commence sitting tomorrow, would be conducting its affairs at the secretariat of the Adamawa state chapter of the Medical and Health Union of Nigeria in Yola.

The panel constituted last Friday was earlier ejected from its J & J Holiday Villa and could not find a venue to sit until the health workers’ union provided a succour yesterday.

However, officials of the state branch of the Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria , including its chairman, Mr. Jeremiah Nkyekwar, said they were not aware of the lease its Secretariat to the panel.

Meanwhile, the panel has served Nyako and his deputy, Ngillari with notice of hearing, by pasting it on the entrance of the Government House.

Our correspondent in Yola reported that the invitations to the governor and his deputy were signed by the panel’s Secretary, Barrister Binanu R. Esthon, and were pasted on the entrances of Government House and the Deputy Governor’s Office respectively.

In a related development, the expiration of the tenure of the state Acting Chief Judge on Tuesday, 8th July, has stalled the hearing of the suit filed by Nyako and the All Progressives Congress (APC), challenging the impeachment process embarked upon by the state Assembly.

Earlier, the governor had challenged the legality of the impeachment notice the Assembly claimed to have been served on him via some national dailies upon which the former Acting Chief Judge ruled to hear yesterday, day after expiration of his tenure.

Commenting on the development, a former Attorney-General of the state and the current dean, Faculty of Law, Nasarawa state University, Professor Maxwell Gidado, has said that once the office of the Acting Chief Judge becomes vacant, no case can be assigned to the court.

He said that was why it was advisable for all chief executives to appoint a substantive Chief Judge.

According to him, Nyako under the present circumstances, is not statute-barred from nominating the most senior judge in the state to the National Judicial Commission to occupy the position.

Gidado explained that he had earlier advised Nyako to make sure there is no vacuum in the office of the state Chief Judge. “If they have adhered to my advice, this issue should have been remedied,” he lamented.

He raised the alarm that the legal system in the state was imperiled by the absence of substantive Chief Judge, who according to him, ought to assign cases to various court for dispensation.

The legal luminary, who said that if the situation persists, it could undermine the whole impeachment proceeding, however, called on stakeholders of the state to intervene in the political tussle between Nyako and the lawmakers.

Gidado stated that Adamawa state was at the brink of breakdown and the lawmakers and the governor needed to sheathe their swords in the interest of the common man and the state.

“My advice to Nyako and lawmakers is that they should sheathe their swords. The state is under emergency rule. The governor has only nine months to spend and already they are deadlocked,” Gidado noted.

He alerted that the members of the Assembly are breaching the constitution with their actions and advised them to stop doing what the constitution did not say because they have political scores to settle with the governor.

“As a stakeholder in Adamawa project, I am baffled by political developments in the state. We are in the state of emergency; we should not do anything that will lead to break down of law because of our selfish interest,” the university don warned.

 

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