Ex-Gov Bala Ngilari sentenced to five years imprisonment

Ex-Gov Bala Ngilari sentenced to five years imprisonment
March 06 18:40 2017

An Adamawa State High Court has sentenced former governor of the state, Bala James Ngilari, to five years imprisonment.

Justice Nathan Musa on Monday ruled that Ngilari was guilty of fraud, abuse of office and disregard for due process.

In a 75-minute long ruling, the judge discharged him on one  count which bordered on conspiracy.

The judge however acquitted his alleged accomplices, Sanda Lamorde and Ibrahim Welye, who served under him as Secretary to the State Government and  Commissioner of Finance respectively.

Ngillari, 64, was found guilty on four counts of conspiracy to award contract amounting to the tune of N167,812,500 for the purchase of 25 units of operational official vehicles for the state without compliance with due process.

The judge in his ruling based his decision on section 58(5) of the Public Procurement Acts, saying “the long hands of the laws are tied to convict any person found guilty of breach of procurement acts to be sentenced to not less than five years imprisonment.

He said, “The convict is sentenced to a cumulative sentence of five years, cumulatively on all the five counts to any jail in this country of his choice. But, in the meantime, he will be held here in the Yola Prison.”

Reacting to the judgement , Ngilari said he will exercise his rights to appeal while welcoming the judgement in good faith.

“I accept the judgement with good faith without hard feelings to anyone,” he told journalists.

Ngilari ruled the state after ex-Governor Murtala Nyako’s impeachment. While his predecessor had decamped to the All Progressive Congress before his removal, Ngilari remained a member of the Peoples Democratic Party.

The case against him was filed by the APC  government led by Mohammed Jibrilla on September 21, 2016.