The immediate past governor of Adamawa state, James Ngilari has been sentenced to 5 years imprisonment without the option of fine for violating 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.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had charged the former governor, along with two of his former cabinet members Andrew Welye (Secretary to the State Government) and Sunday Lamurde (Commissioner of Finance).
The court, presided over by Justice Nathan Musa, however acquitted Welye and Lamurde for lack of enough proof of the offenses 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.
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 (SAN), 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.
Speaking to newsmen before he was taken away from the court, Ngilari said that he would appeal the sentence.