A Federal High Court in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital has ruled that the former deputy governor of Adamawa State, Mr Bala Ngilari should be sworn in as the substantive governor of the state, striping the Acting Governor, Mr Umaru Fintiri of the position.
* Court Orders Swearing-in of former governor of Adamawa State, Mr Bala Ngilari.
* Acting Governor Umaru Fintiri ordered to quit.
* Court Says the alleged resignation of the former governor is invalid and contrary to the provision of the Nigerian Constitution.
* Fintiri says he will appeal the ruling.
Justice Ademola Adeniyi gave the ruling after a hearing on the case filed by the former deputy governor, questioning his removal as the deputy governor before the impeachment of the former governor, Mr Murtala Nyako.
Breach of constitution
He ruled that the alleged resignation of Ngilari on July 14, 2014 was invalid, null and void as it breached the provisions of sections 306(1), (2) and (5) of the Nigerian Constitution because it was addressed to the Speaker and acted upon by the House of Assembly.
Ngilari, through his lawyer, Mr Festus Keyamo, had submitted that by virtue of section 191 (1) of the 1999 Constitution that after the impeachment of Governor Murtala Nyako, that he, Ngilari being the next in the line of succession should have been inaugurated as governor.
The former deputy governor further stated that the assertion that he resigned his position as deputy governor was untenable given the claim by the House of Assembly that he, Ngilari, resigned in a letter addressed to the speaker of the House of Assembly.
Ngilari had relied on section 306 (1), (2) and (5) of the 1999 Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), that his resignation from office as deputy governor could only be addressed to the substantive governor at that time who he claimed was Nyako.
Nyako, in his submission to the court had also claimed that he did not accept the purported resignation of Ngilari as deputy governor.
The bye-election fixed for October 11, will no longer hold.
The acting governor Mr Fintiri said he has asked his lawyer to appeal the decision immediately, the News Agency of Nigeria reports.