The Yola Division of the Court of Appeal today overturned the conviction of the former governor of Adamawa State, Mr. Bala Ngilari and discharged and acquitted him of corruption charges.
The court, presided by Justice Olayomi Folashade, quashed all the charges against the former governor for lack of merit and sufficient proof of allegations against him.
It would be recalled that on March 6, 2017, the state High Court sentenced Ngilari to five years in prison for not following due process in the purchase of 25 vehicles at the cost of N169 million.
Ngilari was charged with two of his former aides-the secretary to the state government, Mr. Andrew Welye and the commissioner of finance, Mr. Sunday Lamurde.
The court presided over by Justice Nathan Musa said the prosecution had proved beyond reasonable doubt that the former governor 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.
Musa said the five years was the least he could give Ngilari adding that the conviction and sentence would serve as deterrent to serving governors who engage in doing things without following due process.
The judge however discharged and acquitted Welye and Lamurde, saying that the prosecutor could not prove any case against them.
On March 27, Musa granted Ngilari bail in the sum of N100 million on health grounds, after he (Ngilari) appealed his conviction.
The bail application was supported by a medical report on Ngilari from Yola Prison, which indicated that the former governor had been under intensive medical management.
On March 29, Ngilari was released from prison.