Amaechi’s probe suit gets August 20 ruling date
Amaechi had initiated the action shortly after Governor Nyesom Wike constituted a seven-man panel headed by Justice George Omereji to investigate the non-completion of the Justice Adolphus Karibi Whyte Specialist Hospital after an alleged payment of $39,2000.00 to the supposed contractor and sales of other state assets by the immediate past administration.
The former governor is challenging the power of Wike to cause the investigation of his administration between 2007 and 2015.
When the matter came up for hearing at the court, presided over by Justice Simeon Amadi, the Commissioner of Justice and Attorney General, Emma Aguma asked the court to dismiss Amaechi’s suit for lack of merit. He explained that the instrument setting up the judicial commission of inquiry did not contravene the provisions of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and the Rivers State Law cap 50.
The respondents include Governor Wike, the state’s Attonery General and Commissioner for Justice, the chairman and members of the probe panel, namely Dr. Edith Chukwu, Monday Ekeknta, Rev. Canon Alex Usifo, Elder Ignatius Piegbara, Mrs. Florence Fiberesima and Dr. Zaccheaus Adango. Amaechi was represented in court by Den Wigwe (SAN).
The governor had mandated the commission to investigate the withdrawal and expenditure of the accrued N96 billion from the state’s Reserve Fund without alleged compliance with the Rivers State Reserve Fund Law No. 2 of 2008.
He had also charged the commission to ascertain the circumstances surrounding the sale of the state’s multi-billion independent power project, the Omoku’s 150-megawatt gas turbine, Afam 360 megawatts gas turbine, Trans Amadi 136 megawatts gas turbine and Eleme 75 megawatts gas turbine by the Amaechi’s administration. The commission was also mandated to identify the buyers of the gas turbines, the total cost and the whereabouts of the proceeds.
The panel was also expected to make appropriate recommendations for the recovery of the proceeds from the power projects, all money unlawfully disbursed to the contractor in respect of the Justice Karibi Whyte hospital facility, the Olympia Hotel, the mono rail and the N2 billion improperly and unlawfully disbursed under the agricultural credit guarantee scheme and all funds illegally withdrawn from the state’s reserve fund by the last administration .
After listening to the arguments by parties in the suit, Justice Amadi subsequently adjourned the matter to August 20 for ruling.