Amaechi loses appeal against Rivers Judicial Panel of Inquiry
The Appeal Court in Port Harcourt has dismissed the appeal filed by former Governor Rotimi Amaechi against the Justice George Omereji-led Judicial Panel of Inquiry constituted by Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike in 2015.
Lead Judge, Justice O.F Moleye said the refusal of Amaechi to appear before the panel amounted to self-denial.
Justice Moleye said Governor Wike was empowered by law to constitute the panel of Inquiry.
The appeal court, however, said Amaechi had the right to have gone to court to challenge the constitution of the panel.
Speaking with DAILYPOST Counsel to Governor Wike, Dejo Lamikanra, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria said the court only affirmed the power of Governor Wike.
On his part, Attorney General of Rivers State, Emmanuel Aguma, SAN, said the implication of the Judgment was that the findings of the panel were valid, adding that the findings would be implemented soon.
“The coronary of the Judgment is that Amaechi has to account for the sale of valued assets belonging to Rivers state and also explain the withdrawal of huge sums of money from the state’s coffers within 14 months.
“It means that the findings of the Justice Omereji panel are valid,” he said.
Counsel to Former Governor Rotimi Amaechi, Lawson Oghare declined comment on the outcome of the court decision.
Recall that Justice Simeon Amadi of the High Court in Port Harcourt had at an earlier judgment dismissed the suit filed by Former Governor Amaechi asking the court to stop the Commission of Inquiry headed by Justice George Omereji from probing him.
Amaechi in the suit said the Justice Omereji panel was biased, adding that the outcome of the panel had been predestined by his successor, Governor Nyesom Wike.
Other respondents in the matter are Justice George Omereji and members of his panel, as well as the Attorney General of Rivers State, Emma Aguma, SAN.
The Justice George Omereji panel was set up by Wike to investigate the Sale of Omoku and Afam Gas plants, the failed contract of the construction of Justice Adolphus Karibi Whyte Specialist Hospital and monies amounting to billions of naira for agricultural loan for the Rivers state Ministry of Agriculture, among others. Daily Post