Tenure elongation: Anxiety as Nyako, Sylva, Imoke, Wamakko storm Capital



LAGOS – There was deep anxiety yesterday ahead of tomorrow’s Supreme Court judgment on the tenure elongation case affecting five state governors.
In at least one of the states affected supporters of the governor were yesterday afternoon involved in strategy sessions on how to manage the Speaker of the State House of Assembly in the event of an unfavourable ruling.

Similarly opponents of the governors seeking re-election were also seeking how they could exploit any possible judgment against the governors to further their ambitions.
Ahead of tomorrow’s judgment four of the five governors who are in their first term and are seeking re-election had converged in Abuja an apparent indication of what sources said was increasing anxiety on the possible outcome of the case.
Governor Liyel Imoke of Cross River State who on Monday won the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP gubernatorial ticket to contest for a second term joined his colleagues Murtala Nyako, Adamawa; Timipire Sylva, Bayelsa and Aliyu Wamakko, Sokoto who had earlier arrived the federal capital ahead of the judgment.
The fifth governor involved in the tenure elongation case, Alhaji Ibrahim Idris of Kogi State is in his second term and would ordinarily not be seriously affected as he is expected to hand over to his successor in March.
The affected five governors were those whose tenures were truncated upon the decision of various Courts of Appeal that they did not win the 2007 gubernatorial election which first brought them into office. After winning the re-run election they subsequently obtained the approval of the courts that their tenure should run from the second inauguration after the 2007 election.
Imoke, Nyako and Wamakko have all picked the PDP gubernatorial ticket ahead of the rescheduled election coming up separately later this year. Governor Sylva is the only one of the affected governors excluded from a second term having been barred from participating in the PDP gubernatorial primaries last November. The governor is presently in court pressing his case that he was unjustly excluded in the contest.
The intrigue over the tenure elongation waxed last December when the Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the Adamawa House of Assembly, Mr. Sadik Dasin and Mrs. Wale Fwa respectively were both removed on the same day.
There were suggestions at that time that it was part of the effort to place a trustworthy leadership in the legislature in the event of an unfavourable ruling in the tenure elongation case.
There was mixed tension in one of the states also affected as aides and supporters of the governor sought to rally the assembly leadership.
Opponents of the governors seeking re-election were also seeking how they could exploit any judgment against the governors to further their interests. An opponent of one of the affected governors Vanguard learnt was already compiling petitions he is hoping to file with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC in a bid to stop the governor from re-contesting the office.

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