The eight-man Judicial Commission of Inquiry inaugurated by Governor of Rivers State, Chibuike Amaechi to investigate the crisis in the House of Assembly has been nullified by a Port Harcourt High Court presided over by Justice Lamenkara Iyaye.
In addition to ruling that the commission is unconstitutional, the court restrained its members from sitting to investigate the crisis. It held that under the principle of natural justice, Amaechi lacked the capacity to constitute a panel to investigate a crisis involving him.
The court further restrained the state government from receiving or acting on any recommendation made by the commission of inquiry, saying only a regular court is competent to inquire or try anyone on matters of the crisis in the assembly.
The state government inaugurated the eight-man panel chaired by Justice Biobele Georgewill but a member of the assembly, Mr Victor Ihunwo, representing Port Harcourt Constituency filed the suit, challenging its setting up imploring the court to nullify it.
Reacting after the court ruling, Special Adviser on Media to the State Party Chairman, Jerry Needam released a statement saying the nullification of the commission and the consignment of any report and, or document from such enquiry to the waste basket of history has vindicated the position of the party that its setting up was ill-intended and had no other motive than to witch-hunt perceived opponents of the governor.
“The party gives kudos to the Judiciary for the courage to insist on the truth and the fact that Gov Amaechi who was physically present at the scene of the incident and fully took part in the fracas cannot deny being part of the crisis and therefore cannot turn round to investigate the matter in whatever disguise as that would amount to a breach of natural justice to be a judge in one’s own case,” a part of the statement reads.
“We are happy and wish to express our renewed confidence in the Nigerian Judiciary to uphold justice in the face of intimidation and wanton display of power. Of particularly noteworthy is the recognition of the fact that the state legislature is a separate arm of government as significant as both the executive and the Judiciary and must not be hijacked by either of the arms.”
The party leadership paid respect to members of the dissolved commission of enquiry but wondered why they accepted to serve in such illegal commission, which it described as a tool for indictment of opponents and to rubbish the hard-earned reputation of the members of the panel.
“By this development, the ongoing peace reconciliation of the aggrieved members of the party at both the state and national levels has been given a boost,” the statement added.
Source: Huhu Online
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