Appeal Court Upholds Amaechi’s Indictment By Probe Panel

Former Governor of Rivers State and current Minister for Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi
Former Governor of Rivers State and current Minister for Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi

A Court of Appeal sitting in Port Harcourt has upheld the report of a panel of inquiry set up by Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, to investigate his immediate predecessor and current Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi.

The committee had indicted Amaechi in October 2015 of wrongdoings especially with regards to the selling off of four gas turbines belonging to the state.

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But the transportation minister filed an appeal, claiming that the Panel did not give him fair hearing.

In a unanimous judgement on Monday, the three appeal court justices agreed that Amaechi denied himself fair hearing by refusing to appear before the panel.

The court also held that the former Governor did not provide concrete evidence to prove that the panel was biased and set up to find him guilty.

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It would be recalled that Governor Wike had mandated the Rivers State Attorney General to commence legal procedures against Amaechi, former military administrator of Rivers State, Anthony Ukpo and some other former political office holders over 97 billion naira allegedly misappropriated in the sale of the state valued assets.

This is after the State Executive Council had adopted the report of the probe panel which stated among other things that Amaechi, along with his former commissioners for Finance and Power, Chamberlain Peterside and Augustine Nwokocha, respectively, should be held to account for their roles in the sales of the power generation assets of First Independent Power Limited and the disbursement of the proceeds there from.

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