News

August 17, 2013

Court sacks Rivers Commission of Inquiry

Court sacks Rivers Commission of Inquiry

By JIMITOTA ONOYUME, P/Harcourt

JUSTICE  Iyayi Lamikanra   of a Port Harcourt High court Friday prohibited the Rivers State Commission of Inquiry set up to look into the recent fracas that rocked the State House of Assembly from going ahead with its activities.

The Judge further granted an order restraining the Governor of the State from receiving or implementing any report from the Commission of Inquiry.

Continuing, the Judge said only a regular court could look into some of the criminal-related issues the Commission was set up to investigate.

APC and Police officers at the entrance of the Rivers State government house Wednesday  to dispel Pro-Amaechi youths as the Rivers State House of Assembly Crisis witness Day two in Port Harcourt. Photo: Nwankpa Chijioke

Photo file:  Police officers at the entrance of the Rivers State government house to dispel Pro-Amaechi youths as the Rivers State House of Assembly Crisis witness Day two in Port Harcourt. Photo: Nwankpa Chijioke

It would be recalled that one of the five anti Governor Chibuike Amaechi lawmakers, Hon Victor Ihunwo    representing Port Harcourt Constituency III had approached the court to among other things, stop the Commission from going ahead with its activities, arguing that its members were appointed by Governor Amaechi who he alleged was a party in the crisis to be investigated by the Commission.

“That His Excellency, Rotimi Amaechi, the 10th Respondent and his Government represented by the 11th Respondent instigated the crisis and supervised the execution of said crisis which he now purports to inquireinto by the instrumentality of a Commission of Inquiry selected, appointed and inaugurated by him, that is, the so called Judicial Commission of Inquiry comprised of the 1st set of Respondents.

The 1st set of Respondents as the Judicial Commission of Inquiry instituted by the 10th Respondents lacks jurisdiction to inquire into the terms of reference subject matter of the Commission.

The 10th Respondent cannot be a judge in his own case, wherein he can choose the members of the commission who are to inquire into the same crisis which he did not only precipitate but participated actively in.

The membership of the Commission as constituted is against the rule of natural justice.

An order of injunction as given restraining the 2nd set of Respondents from receiving any report from the 1st set of Respondents, or in any manner whatsoever implementing or putting into use any report, findings or opinion tendered by or submitted by the 1st set of Respondents in their capacity as a Judicial Commission of inquiry or under any guise whatsoever.