By Adetutu Folasade-Koyi
Former Adamawa State governor, Bala Ngilari, has been sentenced to five years imprisonment by an Adamawa State High court.
In a 75-minute long ruling, Justice Nathan Musa convicted Ngilari and discharged Sanda Lamorde and Ibrahim Welye, two other accused persons, who stood trial with him.
Ngilari was found guilty on all five counts of conspiracy to award contracts amounting to the tune of N167,812,500, for the purchase of 25 units of operational official vehicles for the state. The contracts were awarded without compliance with due process. In his ruling, the judge said Ngilari’s conviction was on section 58 (5) of the Public Procurement Acts. “The laws are tied to convict any person found guilty of breach of procurement acts to be sentenced to less than five years imprisonment. The convict is sentenced to a cumulative sentence of five years, cumulatively on all the five counts to any jail in this country of his choice. But, in the meantime, he will be held here in the Yola Prison.”
Ngilari, who was charged on September 21, 2016, has, however, said he will exercise his rights to appeal but accepted the judgment.
“I accept the judgment with good faith, without hard feelings to anyone,” he told newsmen after the ruling. The case against Ngilari, who succeeded ex-governor Murtala Nyako, was filed by the ruling All Progressives Congress government led by Mohammed Jibrilla.