Breaking… Court jails Bala Ngilari, ex-Adamawa governor

Ebun Francis with Agency report || A former  Governor of Adamawa state, Mr. James Bala Ngilari, was on Monday sentenced to five years in prison without the option of fine by a Yola High Court.

The former Governor was found  guilty of the   corruption charge filed against him by Economic and Financial Crimes Commission. The case was filed in September 2016.

A former Secretary to the State Government, Mr Andrew Welye, and Former Commissioner of Finance, Mr Sunday Lamurde, who were charged with the former governor on same offenses of 17 count charges were discharged and acquited.

Justice Nathan Musa in his judgment said that the prosecution had proven beyond reasonable doubt that Ngilari violated the Public Procurement Act of the state by awarding a contract for the procurement of 25 vehicles for his commissioners at the cost of N167 million without following due process.

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He said Ngilari’s action amounted to executive lawlessness.

Musa said that the five years was the least he could give Ngilari,  whose lawyer, Mr Samuel Toni (SAN) pleaded for leniency “in view of his (Ngilari) invaluable contribution while he was the governor of the state during the trying moment of insurgency.”

Musa said that Ngilari would serve the sentence in the prison of his choice in the country “but for now he should start with Yola prison.”

The Judge expressed hope that the conviction and sentence of Ngilari would serve as a deterrent to serving governors who engage in doing things without following due process.