Court Jails Ex-Governor 5 Years For N167.8M Fraud (Read)
A Former governor’s political career crashed yesterday at a prison gate.
Former Adamawa State Governor Bala James Ngilari was jailed five years for a N167.8m contract scam.
Ngilari, who was governor between October 1,2014 and May 2015, was found guilty of violating the state’s procurement laws.
Justice Nathan Musa of the Adamawa High Court did not give Ngilari an option of fine. He vowed to appeal the verdict.
He was convicted for awarding a N167.8 million contract for the supply of 25 units of Toyota Camry 2.8 to a contractor known only to the ex-governor. No other government official knows about the transaction.
The former governor was found guilty of 17 charges levelled against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for awarding contracts without the due process.
The ex-governor is free to choose Yola Main Prison or any prison yard in the country to serve his term.
The judge acquitted the former Secretary to the State Government, Andrew Welye; and former Commissioner for Finance Sanda Lamurde, who stood trial with the former governor on same charges .
He discharged and acquitted the former SSG and ex-Commissioner for Finance because they were not part of the contract.
He said the verdict was a “warning to other political office holders that the law will not respect anyone that abuses it using the powers of his office”.
“It is my hope that this conviction and sentence will serve as deterrent to serving governors.”
Although the judge said Ngilari could serve the sentence in the prison of his choice in the country, “but for now he should start with Yola Main Prison”.