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BREAKING: Abuja Court stops Adamawa election, orders Nyako’s deputy, Ngilari to be sworn in

A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has asked the
Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, not to go
ahead with Saturday’s governorship bye election in Adamawa
state.
The court also ordered that the Deputy Governor of ousted
Murtala Nyako be sworn in immediately to complete the
deposed governor’s tenure.
The court judgement follows a suit instituted by Mr, Ngilari
praying the court to declare him governor on the grounds that
his resignation letter which he forwarded to the speaker of the
state Assembly on the eve of the impeachment of Governor
Nyako was null and void.
Mr. Ngilari’s request is based on constitutional requirement
that a deputy governor can only resign by submitting his
letter of resignation to the governor.
Mr. Ngilari had asked the court to halt any governorship
election in the state declare him governor of Adamawa state
following the impeachment of Murtala Nyako on July 15,
2014.
The court had earlier refused an application by Mr. Ngilari to
restrain the Independent National Electoral Commission
(INEC) from conducting bye-election to fill the Adamawa
governorship seat.
Mr. Ngilari, whose office was declared vacant on July 15 by
the state’s lawmakers after he purportedly resigned,
challenged the legality of his resignation.
The suit had Umaru Fintiri, the Speaker, Adamawa State
House of Assembly, the House of Assembly, the Acting
Governor, Adamawa State, Mr. Nyako and INEC as
defendants.
Mr. Ngilari, who denied resigning his position within the
contemplation of the provision of Section 306(1), (2) & (5) of
the Constitution, said the purported resignation letter he sent
to the Speaker was not meant to be acted on by the House of
Assembly.
Mr. Ngilari, in a supporting affidavit, said, “I did not submit
any letter of resignation to the 5th defendant (governor) or any
other person other than the 1st defendant (the Speaker).
“I only submitted a purported letter of resignation (exhibit A),
to the 1st defendant but I never intended to comply with the
strict provisions of sections 306 (1), (2) & (5) of the 1999
Constitution by submitting it to the 5th defendant (the
Governor).
“I never intended exhibit A (the letter) to be any subject of
debate or resolution by the 2nd defendant (House of
Assembly), but a private correspondence between myself and
the 1st defendant, hence it was marked ‘secret’.
“That exhibit A was only submitted to the 1st defendant with
the intention of discussing the contents with him privately at a
more convenient time to alert him at a possible action I may
take at a later date because of certain political developments
in Adamawa State, hence I did not submit it to the 5th
defendant (as Governor of Adamawa State) as strictly
stipulated by section 306(1), (2) & (5) of the 1999
Constitution.
“That I was therefore shocked to see that my letter was read
and acted upon by the entire members of the 2nd Defendant
when it was never addressed to them,” Nggilari stated.
Mr. Ngilari then raised seven questions for the court’s
determination, and asked the court to restrain INEC and its
agents from conducting a bye-election to fill the office of the
Governor following the impeachment of the governor and the
purported resignation of his deputy.
He further sought an order “removing the 3rd defendant
(Umaru) as the Acting Governor of Adamawa State
forthwith”, and “an order directing the Chief Judge of
Adamawa State (or Acting Chief Judge, as the case may be)
or the President of the Customary Court of Appeal to swear”
him (the plaintiff) in as the state’s substantive governor.
He also sought:
*A declaration that by the combined provisions of section 306
(1), (2) and (5) of the 1999 Constitution of Federal Republic
of Nigeria (as amended) the plaintiff (Barr. Bala James
Nggilari), as Deputy Governor of Adamawa State, did not
resign his office by addressing a letter of resignation dated
15th July, 2014 to the 1st defendant (Speaker, Adamawa State
House of Assembly).
*A declaration that by the combined provisions of section 306
(1), (2) and (5) of the 1999 Constitution of Federal Republic
of Nigeria (as amended) the purported resignation of the
Plaintiff as Deputy Governor of Adamawa State did not take
effect when the purported Letter of Resignation was received
by the 1st Defendant (Speaker, Adamawa State House of
Assembly) on the 15th of July, 2014.
*A declaration that by the combined provisions of section 306
(1), (2) and (5) of the 1999 Constitution of Federal Republic
of Nigeria (as amended) the declaration of the office of the
Deputy Governor of Adamawa State (then occupied by the
plaintiff) vacant on the July 15th, 2014 vide the votes and
proceedings of the 2nd defendant of same day is
unconstitutional, illegal, null and void.
*A declaration that by the sequence of the legislative business
of the 2nd defendant as contained in the transcript of the votes
and proceedings of the Adamawa State House of Assembly
(2nd defendant) of Tuesday, July 15th, 2014, the 5th
defendant (Murtala Nyako) was still the Governor of
Adamawa State at the time the 1st and 2nd defendants
received, accepted and acted upon the purported letter of
resignation of the plaintiff (Barr. Bala James Nggilari) to
declare his seat vacant.
*A declaration that by the combined provisions of section 306
(1), (2) and (5) of the 1999 Constitution of Federal Republic
of Nigeria (as amended) the Plaintiff (Barr. Bala James
Nggilari) did not resign from office as Deputy Governor of
Adamawa State as strictly stipulated by the 1999 Constitution
of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).
*A declaration that by virtue of section 191(1) of the 1999
Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended),
after the impeachment of Murtala Nyako (5th Defendant) as
Governor of Adamawa Sate, the Plaintiff ought to be sworn in
as Governor of Adamawa State.
*A declaration that by the combined provisions of section
191(1) and 306 (1), (2) and (5) of the 1999 Constitution of
Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), the swearing-in of
the 3rd defendant (Rt. Hon. Ahmadu Umaru) as Acting
Governor of Adamawa State on 15th of July, 2014 is illegal
and unconstitutional.
*A declaration that, by the provision of section 191(1) of the
1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as
amended), the 6th Defendant cannot conduct any election to
fill the office of the Governor of Adamawa State after the
impeachment of Murtala Nyako, as the Deputy Governor
(Barr. Bala James Nggilari) did not resign from that office as
strictly stipulated by section 306 (1), (2) and (5) of the 1999
Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).

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