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Mon, Oct 02, 2023

You're lucky to get five years, says Judge as Ngilari is sentenced to jail in Yola

You're lucky to get five years, says Judge as Ngilari is sentenced to jail in Yola

A Yola High Court on Monday sentenced the immediate-past Governor of Adamawa, James Ngilari to five years in prison without option of fine, after being found guilty of corrupt practices.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had charged the former governor, along with two of his former aides, Andrew Welye and Sunday Lamurde, Secretary to the State Government and Commissioner of Finance under his administration.

The court, presided over by Justice Nathan Musa, however acquitted Welye, and Lamurde for lack of enough proof of the offences leveled against them by the anti-graft commission.

Delivering judgement,  Musa, said that the prosecution had proved its case against the former governor beyond reasonable doubt, saying that Ngilari violated the Public Procurement Act of the state by awarding contract for the procurement of 25 vehicles for his commissioners at the cost of N167 million, without following due process.

He said Ngilari’s action amounted to executive lawlessness, adding that that the five years was the least he could give Ngilari.

Ngilari’s counsel, Samuel Toni, had  pleaded for leniency “in view of his (Ngilari’s) invaluable contribution when he was the governor of the state during the trying moment of insurgency.”

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

He  expressed hope that the conviction and sentence of Ngilari, would serve as a deterrent to serving governors, who never cared to follow due process in the discharge of their duties.

“It is my hope that this conviction and sentence will serve as deterrent to serving governors,” he said.

The judge however discharged and acquitted Welye and Lamurde, saying that the prosecutor could not prove the charges  against them.

Speaking to journalists before he was taken away from the court, Ngilari said that he would appeal the sentence.

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