Impeachment Stalks Adamawa Gov Over Alleged N54bn Scam
• It’s Figment Of Imagination, Says Aide
PLOT to impeach Governor Jibrilla Bindow of Adamawa State may be gathering momentum, as some members of the State House of Assembly are reportedly scouting for signatures to actualise the move.
Bindow is accused of allegedly misappropriating over N54bn, awarding contracts without approvals by the state executive council, and expending state funds on private foreign trips.
The Guardian learnt that 13 members of the House have already signed an impeachment notice and are shopping for four more members to meet the 17 required by law for impeachment of the governor. The Adamawa Assembly has 25 members.
But reacting to the ‘plan’, Adamawa State Commissioner for Information, Alhaji Ahmed Sajoh, said he was not aware of any move to impeach the governor over any financial scandal and any other issue.
The Commissioner also told The Guardian in Yola, yesterday, that an overseas trip planned for some of the lawmakers is routine and meant to expand the scope of the members on legislative activities, and as such “has nothing to do with dividing the members to scuttle an impeachment that to the best of my knowledge does not exit.”
Trouble was said to have started for Bindow two weeks ago after some members loyal to the governor approved a controversial sum of N21bn; the Assembly, after two weeks, again approved another N21bn as supplementary budget for the governor.
Deputy Speaker of the House, Sunday Peter, had announced Thursday that the house passed the N21bn budget after a plenary for the financial year ending December 31, 2015.
The passage of the supplementary bill is in addition to other approvals for the governor to borrow over N28bn from the capital market.
Angered by the strange financial requests of the executive arm, a member of the House and former House Committee Chairman on Appropriation, Abdulrahman Isa, petitioned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over the alleged illegal loans.
Isa has since been suspended by his colleagues for raising eyebrows over the transaction, of which some members allegedly pocketed N30m each.
In the petition, Isa, who represents Mubi, the same constituency as Jibrilla, said he can no longer keep quiet, as the governor was running the state aground and committing constitutional blunders by borrowing huge funds as loans, which he alleged were being diverted.
Isa alleged that Bindow has squandered more than N54b in five months with virtually nothing to show for the huge expenditure.
The Guardian’s investigations revealed that even before the cabinet was formed, the governor had written letters requesting the House to approve loans, which now stand at a staggering N54bn under the guise of contracts believed to have been awarded by the former Umaru Fintri administration.
“In one of such letters by the governor, he wrote a letter to the state Assembly on August 1, 2015, requesting the House’s approval for loans of N8.2bn, N12bn and N7.2bn. On the same date, August 1, 2015, Governor Jibrilla again wrote another letter for N12bn to pay leave and transport grants.
“On September 1, 2015 Governor Jibrilla again wrote three other letters seeking the House’s approval for another set of loans ranging from N18.2bn, N9bn and N21bn virement to pay 10 per cent counterpart funding to the World Bank roads project in the state.”
The Chief Whip, Mr. Hassan Burguma, told journalists last month that the Assembly’s approval for all the loans and supplementary budget was in the interest of the state.
Burguma pointed out that the House approved all the requests despite the fact that some could be illegal and
unconstitutional because of lack of cabinet extract.
EFCC operatives, last month, hosted the Speaker for several hours with a view to getting information on the controversial approvals by the Assembly.
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