Former Adamawa Deputy Governor, Mr Bala Ngilari, was sworn in as the 12th Governor of the state on Wednesday in Yola.
Ngilari was sworn in at Government House by the President, Customary Court of Appeal, Justice Audu Lagre, following an order by a Federal High Court, Abuja, that the Acting Governor, Ahmadu Fintiri, should vacate the office.
The court held that Ngilari did not resign from office as Deputy Governor in line with section 306 (1)) (2) and (5) of the 1999 Constitution as amended.
In his address after taking oath of office, Ngilari said he would run an open, transparent and all-inclusive government.
“In this regard, I invite other arms of government, in particular the legislature and judiciary, not forgetting the civil service, to join hands with me to achieve these noble goals.
“As a party man and a team player, I pledge my unalloyed support and loyalty to our great party and Mr President,” Ngilari said.
He described his emergence as an act of God who gives power to whoever He chooses.
“We acknowledge the divine power of God in all that happened. The holy books of both religions subscribe to the fact that power belongs to God and He gives it in trust to whosoever he wills,” he told his audience.
The Federal Government had earlier directed that Ngilari be sworn in despite Fintiri’s insistence on challenging his ouster by the court.
The directive was contained in a statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Adedeji Ajibade.
It said the inauguration became necessary in order to avoid a vacuum in governance in the state.
The government also directed the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to put on hold Saturday’s planned by-election in obedience to the judgement.
The statement reads: “The attention of the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice has been drawn to the judgment of the Federal High Court Abuja, delivered by Hon. Justice Adeniyi Ademola on 8th October 2014.
“The Federal High Court by its judgement under reference nullified the swearing in of Ahmadu Umar Fintiri as the Acting Governor of Adamawa State and declared the resignation of James Bala Ngilari as unconstitutional, null and void.
“In obedience to the judgement of the court and the need to avert a vacuum in governance and possible constitutional crises, the Honourable, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Bello Adoke, hereby calls on the Chief Judge of Adamawa State to immediately swear in Barrister James Bala Ngilari as the Governor of Adamawa State.
“The Chairman, National Independent Electoral Commission is also called upon in obedience to the judgement of the Federal High Court to keep in abeyance all the arrangements made for the conduct of the bye-elections scheduled to take place in Adamawa State on Saturday 11th October 2014.”