Court allows Wike to probe Amaechi’s administration

Wike and Amaechi

A Rivers State High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, has dismissed the suit filed by former governor of the state, Chibuike Amaechi, challenging the constitution of the Justice Odedeji- led Judicial Commission of enquiry by Governor Nyesom Wike, to probe the sale of state assets by the immediate past administration.

The trial judge, Justice Simeon Amadi, while delivering judgement yesterday, on Suit Number PHC/187/15 filed by Amaechi, declared that the Commission of Enquiry was not established to investigate the personal activities of the former governor, but to investigate previous actions of government as they affected the people of the state.
Justice Amadi ruled that Governor Wike, by the provisions of the law, was empowered to establish the Judicial Commission of Enquiry to investigate previous actions of government.

He said there was no law preventing a state government from finding out how her resources were expended.
The judge declared that the former governor could not disburse and expend funds of the state government and turn around to claim that such powers belonged to the National Assembly.

On Amaechi’s claim that the 30 days set aside for the sitting of the judicial commission of Enquiry would deny him fair hearing, the court held that the days set aside had not breached his right to fair hearing.

The court further held that the former governor could not complain that he was not given fair hearing when he had neither filed a memorandum before the commission nor appeared before it, Justice Amadi said also that the 30 days set aside were not sacrosanct, but could be extended, describing the suit as speculative, as Amaechi failed to prove the injuries that he had suffered because of the setting up of the judicial commission of enquiry.

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.”

The counsel to Governor Wike said the ruling of the court had proved that a claimant could not jump to court to stop the legitimate business of a judicial commission of enquiry.

In her remarks, counsel to the applicant (Amaechi), Mrs. Winifred Enyinnaya, said her client would appeal against the judgement. Governor Wike, on assumption of duty, set up a judicial commission of enquiry to investigate the sale of key state assets by the previous administration.

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