The immediate-past Governor of Adamawa, Mr James Ngilari, was Monday sentenced to five years in prison without option of fine, after being found guilty of corrupt practices.
A Yola High Court, presided over by Justice Nathan Musa , said that the prosecution had proved its case against the former governor beyond reasonable doubt.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had charged the former governor, along with two of his former aides, Mr Andrew Welye and Sunday Lamurde, Secretary to the State Government and Commissioner of Finance under his administration.
Musa said 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, Mr 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.
The Judge however discharged and acquitted Welye and Lamurde, saying that the prosecutor could not prove the charges against them.
Speaking to newsmen before he was taken away from the court, Ngilari said that he would appeal the sentence.