The declaration of public holidays Monday and Tuesday in Adamawa State by Governor Murtala Nyako is expected to disrupt the inauguration of the investigative committee set up by state’s acting Chief Judge, Justice Ambrose Mammadi, to investigate allegations of gross misconduct against the governor and his deputy, Bala Ngillari.
The declaration of the two-day public holiday was seen by observers in the state as deft move by Nyako to stop Mammadi whose tenure ends Tuesday as the acting CJ of the state from inaugurating the investigative committee scheduled for monday.
Giving reasons for the holiday, the state government in a statement sunday, said: “His Excellency, Governor Murtala Nyako, has approved Monday 7th and Tuesday 8th of July, 2014 as work free days in Adamawa State.
“This is to enable the people to reflect on the current happenings in the country and to use the period to offer special prayers for peace in the state.
“The period is also to enable Adamawa workers reflect on the current challenges. It is also a thanks-giving period for citizens to appreciate God’s protection despite all the challenges.”
Commenting on the new twist in the impeachment saga, legal experts said if the inauguration does not take place before the end of the tenure of the incumbent CJ, a new CJ would have to be appointed before the investigative committee performs its duty.
However, since the responsibility of appointing a new CJ falls with the governor of the state, it is unlikely that Nyako would appoint anyone that is not sympathetic to his plight.
Since the Adamawa State House of Assembly commenced the process of impeachment against the governor the two arms of government have been locked in a series of legal battle. However, the acting CJ complied with the directive from the legislators last week to constitute the panel.
Criticising the move by the CJ to set up the panel, the State’s Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Party (APC), Phineas Padio wondered why he went ahead to set up the panel after he had ruled that the method used by the lawmakers to serve the impeachment notice on the governor and his deputy was unconstitutional.
“The acting CJ had ruled that the notice of impeachment must be served through personal means; he even quoted a Supreme Court ruling that said it could not be served through the pages of newspaper as the House did. Yet he went ahead to constitute the panel, while the notice was not properly served,” he said.
Dismissing the statement by the APC, the Press Secretary to the Speaker of the House, Solomon Kumanga, alleged yesterday that the lawmakers were armed with information that showed that the executive arm of government had brought in mercenaries to kidnap members of the assembly.
“We are not aware of the holiday but there is need for prayers because we have information they have smuggled in mercenaries to attack or kidnap the people involved in the impeachment. That is why security is beefed up around them,” Kumanga said.