Former Adamawa Governor Jailed For Corruption

Former Governor of Adamawa State, James Ngilari
Former Governor of Adamawa State, James Ngilari

Former Governor of Adamawa State Bala Ngilari, was on Monday handed a  five-year prison sentence by a High Court in Yola, the State capital, after he was found guilty of corruption.

Ngilari was accused and convicted for violating the Public Procurement Act of the state by awarding contract for the procurement of 25 vehicles for his commissioners at the cost of N167 million without following due process.

Justice Nathan Musa in his judgement found the former governor guilty of four charges out of the five charges brought against him, and discharged him on one which bordered on conspiracy.

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Also, Justice Musa discharged and acquitted former Secretary to the State Government, Andrew Welye, and the former Commissioner of Finance, Sunday Lamurde, who were second and third defendants respectively in the case.

He sentenced the former governor to five years in prison, without the option of a fine, adding that the convict is to serve his term in any prison of his choice, “but for now he should start with Yola prison.”

Bala Ngilari, was the deputy governor to Murtala Nyako, who was impeached by the State Assembly in 2014.

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He was sworn in as Governor after a federal court in Abuja removed the acting Governor of the state, Umar Fintiri, who before his assumption as acting governor was the speaker of the State Assembly.

Recall that Ngilari had been forced to resign shortly after the impeachment of Nyako, but he went to court asking to be declared governor.

He argued before the court that his “resignation” letter, which was constitutionally required to have gone to the ousted governor, was instead received and acted upon by the then speaker, Fintiri.

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Justice Adeniyi Ademola had agreed with him and ruled that Ngilari did not resign from office as deputy governor in line with the constitution and therefore ought to have been sworn in as governor following Nyako’s impeachment.

Ngilari remained as Governor until the 2015 general election.