Former Deputy Governor of Adamawa state, Bala Ngilari, was on Wednesday sworn into office as the new governor of the state following the sack of Umar Fintiri by a Federal High Court in Abuja.
The state acting Chief Judge, Justice Ambrose Mammadi, performed the swearing-in ceremony for Ngilari in a very short ceremony just hours after the court passed its ruling.
Justice Adeniyi Ademola had ordered that Ngilari be sworn in after he convinced the court that his purported letter of resignation was null and void since it was transmitted to the State House of Assembly instead of to his former boss, the impeached Murtala Nyanko.
Justice Adeniyi further ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to hold the governorship election in the state that was to hold on Saturday.
Prior to the ceremony, Fintiri had disclosed that he was appealing the case and that he had instructed his lawyer to go ahead with the appeal, but the Federal Government directed the acting Chief Judge of the state to swear in Ngilari as governor of the state in compliance with the judgment of the court which said Mr. Ngilari, who was said to have resigned, is the rightful governor of the troubled state.
INEC says it is awaiting formal court order to decide on the conduct of Adamawa governorship by-election scheduled for Saturday.
Meanwhile, the Adamawa state chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) said the ruling by a Federal High Court sacking Fintiri is a welcome development for the state.
The state Chairman of APC, Binta Garba, said in Yola hours after the court ruling that with the outcome of Mr. Ngilari’s case, the party was hopeful that Mr. Nyako, who is also challenging his removal, would return.
She said: “one down, we are looking to the next judgment regarding Nyako with full hope. Once more, the judiciary deserves commendation for checking impunity.”
She also said the judgment had affected the party’s rally scheduled for the day in Yola.
“We will ask dignitaries yet to arrive to stop coming, but our flag bearer will go to the venue now to show appreciation to party faithful that turned up for the rally,” she said.
Also, the state Secretary of PDP, Tahir Shehu, called it a “win win” situation for the party since Ngilari is still a member of the party.