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Published On: Wed, Jul 9th, 2014

Nyako: Probe panel in dilemma over venue

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  • As Yola hotel, NUJ shut out members

From Umar Dankano, Yola

The 7-man panel constituted by the Acting Chief Judge of Adamawa state, Justice Ambrose Mammadi, to investigate Gov. Murtala Nyako and his Deputy, Bala Ngillari, for alleged gross financial misconduct, is having a serious setback over venue for its sittings.

Our correspondent in Yola reported that the initial venue, the J & J Holiday Villa, where the panel held its first sitting that dwelled on administrative procedures for the probe, sent the committee packing, owing to the security siege on the hotel, which allegedly scared away many of its customers.

An impeccable source at the hotel, disclosed that many customers expressed worry over the heavy presence of joint armed security operatives milling around the lodge.

The clerk of the Adamawa House of Assembly, who had tried to negotiate for alternative venue of the panel’s sittings, became helpless yesterday as other hotels he visited equally turned down his request for the usage of their premises for the probe.

Our correspondent gathered yesterday that the panel moved to the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) club in Yola, and Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) House in search of a suitable alternative venue.

However, the state chairman of the NLC, according to our sources, declined the panel’s request, claiming to have travelled outside the country for personal engagement.

At the panel’s next port of call, the Adamawa state Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Press Centre in Yola, there were divergent opinions amongst the leadership as to whether or not to let the probe panel use the centre’s conference hall for its meetings.

A former national officer of the NUJ in the state, who was alleged  to be in the forefront of negotiating  the usage of NUJ centre, was alleged to have even made contact with the  North-east zonal leadership of the union on the need to compel the Adamawa council to release the centre for the panel’s sittings.

The division within the Adamawa chapter of the NUJ leadership, according to our findings, necessitated an emergency state executive council (SEC) meeting, where majority of the members kicked against the usage of the conference hall.

The rejection of the offer by the NUJ was even as the clerk to the Adamawa Assembly promised to deploy soldiers to the centre to ensure security of panel members, as well as journalists having business at the press centre.

The clerk, our sources said, had earlier deposited N170,000 for the venue, but money was later returned to him after the NUJ council rejected  the bid to use the centre.

Up to the time of filing this report yesterday, the panel has yet to get another venue for its sittings.

Meanwhile, some reports indicated yesterday that the council of chiefs and emirs in the state had held a meeting towards intervening in the imbroglio. “Our traditional rulers deliberated on how to reconcile the lawmakers and the executive for peace to reign”, said a source privy to the mediation.

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