Former Governor of Adamawa State, Bala Ngilari, has stated that he was falsely accused of corruption by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Naija News reports that Ngilari stated this during his recent appearance on Trust TV’s Daily Politics programme.
Ngilari, who governed Adamawa between October 2014 and May 2015, was the first victim of the court ruling since the return of democracy in 1999.
He was convicted of corruption involving N166 million and sent to five years in prison without an option of fine for violating the Public Procurement Act in the award of a contract for the procurement of 25 vehicles.
Speaking further, the former governor said because of his honesty and righteousness, he gathered so many enemies, which led to his conviction.
Ngilari added that he would faint if he personally saw and owned N1 billion.
When asked if he had “like N1bn of your own?”, he replied, “If I see N1bn now, I will faint.
“In fact, the good thing is that the greatest difficulty for a person who tries to be honest and righteous is that you gather so many enemies. Till tomorrow, I say it boldly without fear or favour, if you take the proceedings of the courts that arraigned me on a five-count charge, there is not one count of the five that said I took one naira or diverted one naira, not one,” he said.
Ngilari further said that after losing the governorship seat, he wanted to contest as a senator in the following election year, but could not because the delegates in his party were asking for N1m each.
He said: “In fact, I tried to contest for the Senate too under APC. I went round, toured and two, three days to the primary election, I called and reached out to the delegates through my director general and my coordinators.
“The delegates told me, ‘Look, sir, when it comes to the right person to go for this thing, you are the right person, but honestly, we will be sincere and honest with you we cannot accept N100,000 which you want to offer us.’
“To help. My idea was that I could offer N100,000 for probably 200 people. That would come to about N20 million so that they could go and start something at home.
“I mean, N100,000 at that time was something. (But) they said, ‘No, sir, we will not collect your N100,000 because there are people who are willing to give us one N1 million each.’”