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Rivers: Amaechi Loses Bid To Stop Probe

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BEVERLY HILLS, August 20, (THEWILL) – Former Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi, Thursday, lost the bid to stop the probe of his Administration as Justice Simeon Amadi of the State High Court dismissed the suit he filed challenging the constitution of the Justice Odedeji – led Judicial Commission of Inquiry by Governor Nyesom Wike to probe the sale of state Assets by the immediate past administration.

Ruling on the Suit Number PHC/187/15 filed by former Governor Amaechi on Thursday, Justice Amadi declared that the Judicial Commission of Inquiry was not established to investigate the personal activities of the former governor, but set up to investigate previous actions of government as they affect the people of Rivers State.

He ruled that Governor Nyesom Wike by the provisions of the law is empowered to establish the Judicial Commission of Inquiry to investigate previous actions of government.

According to him, there is no law preventing a state government from finding out how her resources were expended.

He declared that the former governor cannot disburse and expend funds of the Rivers State Government and turn around to claim that such powers belong to the National Assembly.

On the claim by Amaechi that the 30 – day set aside for the sitting of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry will deny him fair hearing, the court held the days set aside has not breached Amaechi's right to fair hearing.

The court noted that the former governor has not filed a Memorandum before the Commission and has not appeared before it, hence he cannot complain that he was not given fair hearing.

Justice Amadi said that the 30 days set aside is not sacrosanct, hence it could be extended.

The court further held that the suit by Amaechi is speculative as he failed to prove the injuries that he has suffered because of the setting up of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry.

Justice Amadi held that contrary to Amaechi's claims, the terms of reference of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry did not accuse the former governor of crime, neither is the former governor on trial.

Justice Amadi declared: “The Judiciary is not only the last hope of the common man, but it is also the last hope of the mighty and movers and shakers of democracy.

“Those who by the benevolence of the Judiciary got to power should resist the temptation to emasculate the Judiciary”.

Commenting on the judgment, Rivers State Attorney General, Emmanuel Aguma, said the commission of inquiry can now sit, pointing out that it will be fair to all parties.

Counsel to Governor Wike said that the ruling of the court has proved that a claimant cannot jump to court to stop the legitimate business of a Judicial Commission of Inquiry.

In her remarks, Counsel to Rotimi Amaechi, Mrs Winifred Enyinnaya, said that Amaechi will appeal against the judgment.

Governor Wike upon assumption of duty set up a Judicial Commission of Inquiry to investigate the sale of key state Assets by the previous administration but Amaechi approached the court to stop the inquiry..