Legal/Judiciary

Aanee Emmanuel RVSG vs Amaechi: Supreme Court says former minister, not on trial

The Supreme Court of Nigeria on Friday dismissed an appeal by Rotimi Amaechi, former minister of transportation, seeking to stop his probe instituted by the Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike.

The apex court held that the Judicial Commission of Inquiry was a mere investigative body and that neither Rotimi Amaechi nor anybody was on trial before the panel set up by the Rivers State Government.

It would be recalled that Governor Wike had set up a seven-man panel to probe Amaechi over the alleged withdrawal of N96 billion from the state’s treasury during his tenure as governor.

The listed valuable assets are Omoku Gas Turbine, Afam Gas Turbine, Trans Amadi Gas Turbine, Eleme Gas Turbine, Olympia Hotel, and the contract award for the execution of Mono Rail Project.

Amaechi who is a leading presidential aspirant under the platform of All Progressives Congress, APC, had approached the apex court to prohibit Wike from investigating his eight-year tenure as the executive governor of the state.

The former governor represented by Lateef Fagbemi predicated his opposition to the probe on the ground that it was aimed at witch-hunting him, embarrassing him, humiliating him and to as well disgrace him given his political differences with his successor.

However, delivering judgment today, a seven-member apex court panel dismissed the appeal on the ground that the probe does not amount to prosecution and that the panel is not competent to indict Amaechi.

Justice Adamu Jauro who read the lead judgment in Amaechi’s suit said: “The appeal fails as it lacks merit.”

The court also asked the former minister to pay the respondents N1 million.

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