The Rivers state government under Governor Nyesom Wike has withdrawn the criminal charges it instituted against a former Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi.
Also, the state withdrew similar charges filed against the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress in the state, Tonye Cole, and five others.
The state government had filed a criminal suit accusing them of selling the government’s assets running into billions of naira when Amaechi was the state governor.
When the matter resumed for ruling on the legality of a private lawyer to prosecute the matter, counsel for the state government who is the Attorney-General of the State and Commissioner for Justice, Prof. Zaccheus Adangor, informed the court that he was withdrawing the suit.
However, the lawyer to the APC, Amaechi, and Cole argued that withdrawing the suit was an abuse of the court process and prayed the court to dismiss the criminal charges if the suit must be withdrawn.
The Presiding Judge, Justice Okogbule Gbasam, after listening to arguments, struck out the suit and the charges against the APC and others.
One of the lawyers to the defendants, Achinike Wobodo, while speaking to journalists on what transpired in court, said they were ready to face the state government whenever there was a fresh charge against their clients.
Wobodo said, “As it stands today, there is no charge against anybody in any court. We do not intend to pre-empt them whether they want to file any other charge or not.
“Taking one thing at a time, if they bring any other charge, we will also challenge them.
“We have said to Rivers people, these are just antics to paint these gentlemen in a bad light.”
Meanwhile, the governor has agreed to sign into effect, the motion passed by the Rivers State House of Assembly regarding the cancellation of the state government’s recognition of Celestine Omehia as a former Governor of Rivers.
This was according to a statement made by his Special Assistant on Media, Kelvin Ebiri on Thursday, October 6, 2022.
The Rivers State House of Assembly earlier on Thursday, passed a motion to derecognise Celestine Omehia, as a former Governor of Rivers State.
The motion was moved by the Leader of the House, Martin Amaewmule, to reverse an earlier resolution of the 8th Assembly on June 30, 2015, which compelled the Executive Arm, headed by Governor Nyesom Wike to recognise Omehia as a former Governor and be accorded all entitlements, privileges, and benefits.
He argued that the continued recognition of Omehia in that capacity will be a bridge of the Supreme Court judgement which in 2007 removed Celestine Omehia as a Governor for not being the duly elected candidate in that year’s election.
The lawmaker also submitted a copy of the Nigerian Weekly Law Report that Countians the landmark judgement which removed Omehia from office and declared Rotimi Amaechi as the duly elected candidate of the PDP at the time and the right person to occupy the office of the Governor.
He said the motion is being moved now to reverse the earlier resolution because the 9th Assembly has a better knowledge and particulars on the said Supreme Court Judgement.
Amaewmule who represents Obio/Akpor Constituency one, submitted four prayers to the house for endorsement.