• Adamawa to come under PDP control again
  •  Atiku moves to save governor

Chuks Okocha   and Daji Sani

As the noose tightens around the neck of the Adamawa State Governor, Murtala Nyako, he may have decided to preempt the outcome of the investigative panel constituted by the acting Chief Judge of the state, Justice Ambrose Mammadi, by throwing in the towel today and handing over to his deputy, Bala Ngilari.

In defiance of the two-day public holiday declared by the state government, the seven-man investigative panel yesterday swung into action, thus setting the impeachment wheels in motion.

But Government House sources confirmed to THISDAY yesterday that the governor had decided to stall the inevitable process that could lead to his impeachment as the panel set up to investigate him over allegations of gross misconduct was certain to reach a damning verdict.

The governor, a source said, was in Abuja throughout yesterday and had prepared his resignation speech, which would be announced today.

Should he resign, the state which came under the control of the All Progressives Congress (APC) when Nyako defected to the main opposition party from the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) last November, would revert to PDP control, as Ngilari who is also facing impeachment moves, refused to defect with his principal.

Effectively, PDP would be in control of 20 states, APC – 14 states, All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) – 1 state and Labour Party (LP) – 1 state.

The Registrar of the High Court, Abubakar Babayola, had earlier in the day told reporters that the inauguration of the committee was not a requirement for the commencement of the panel’s job as it could not be found anywhere in the constitution.
The committee then went ahead to commence its maiden meeting under tight security at J & J Holiday Villa located at Atirwucha Close in Karewa GRA, Yola, the state capital.

However, despite the instruction by the state assembly that the panel’s sitting should be made in public, security operatives denied reporters access to the venue of the sitting.

Commenting on this development, the Chief Press Secretary to the Speaker of the House, Mr. Solomon Kumanga, expressed regret that the panel closed its doors to reporters, even as its terms of reference was to conduct its sittings in public.

Kumanga promised to liaise with the panel to afford reporters the opportunity to proper position during the panel’s assignment.

But as the door was being shut in Nyako’s face, former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar, who was in Yola yesterday, was said to have weighed in to save the governor.

Source close to Atiku confirmed to THISDAY that the former vice-president was last night making frantic moves by reaching out to the lawmakers to soft-pedal on the governor and his deputy.

A source said: “The former vice-president is in Yola at the moment to try and salvage the situation. But he is also there for other reasons other than the impeachment move against Nyako and his deputy.”

Atiku, who for years had a fractured relationship with Nyako, was said to have been prevailed upon by leaders of the APC to come to the governor’s rescue for the greater good of the party.