From Musa Solomon, Yola
The scandalous and controversial bail of convicted Adamawa state former governor Mr. James Bala Ngillari, has claimed the first casualty, as the Nigerian Prison Service (NPS) has detained the officer that forged medical records and snuck Ngillari out of prison on Monday after working hours.
The Prison Controller of Adamawa state command Mr. Peter Tenkwa, told journalists Wednesday in Yola that Supritendant John Bukar, who issued the fake medical records is now in detention in Yola prison where Ngillari was an inmate.
“As I am talking to you now Wednesday I have not seen the court order to produce Ngillari in court , when I called my subordinate in charg of Yola main prison to give him instructions on the Ngillari case he told me that Ngillari is no longer in prison. Our officers involved in this fraud will surely pay heavily for their illegal actions,” he stated.
“Based on Prison Act Cap 366 section 84, I have the powers to arrest and detain any officer at the rank of Supritendant, Supritendant John Bukar is now detained in Yola Prison for his illicit deals that culminated into the illegal release of convicted Adamawa state former governor Mr. James Bala Ngillari. He will remain in the prison until all investigations and concluded and the type of punishment to be meted on him is decided,” he said.
He said that the same court that jail Ngillari over multiple fraud of contracts lacks constitutional powers to turnaround and grant bail to the ex-convict who has already started enjoying his jail term at the Yola main prison.
“I have never heard about this kind of judgment in my life that a court will jail somebody and the same court will turn around and grant a controversial bail to the convict. Legally, only appeal court has powers to take such action, Since Ngillari has appealled his case, the lower court lost powers to preside over such a case, but what happened at Justice Nathan Musa’s court on Monday is a big challenge to the Nigeria judiciary,” he maintained.
He pointed out that only doctors from Federal Medical Center and Specialist hospital Yola have powers to present an acceptable medical record on Ngillari and any other inmates that needs treatment outside prison hospital.
The former embattled governor was jailed for five years, without an option of fine, for violating the Public Procurement Act in the award of contract for the procurement of 25 vehicles at a whopping sum of N168.7 million to unknown female contractor.
Justice Musa, in his judgement, had declared that due process was not followed in the transaction and that the action of the governor was executive rascality.
Ngillari, having appealed the sentence, went back to the same court that convicted him, and asked for bail, pending the determination of his appeal.
The bail plea was supported by a an alleged forged medical report on Ngillari, from Yola Prison, which indicated that the former governor had been under intensive medical management.
The report, signed by Mr John Bukar, a Deputy Comptroller in charge of Health, stated that Ngillari had diabetes, hypertension and insomnia.
It said that Ngilari, who had been referred to Canada Specialist Hospital in Dubai, for evaluation and management, had blood pressure that was rising between 180/110 MMHG to 190/120 MMHG.