“With this judgment, Amaechi has been vindicated and it cleared him of all purported or alleged indictment by the Governor Wike Commission.”
Contrary to the opinion held in certain quarters, the former Minister of Transportation, Hon. Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi, has said that the Supreme Court verdict on Friday which gave the Rivers State government the nod to begin a probe of his eight-year stewardship as governor of the oil-rich State completely vindicated him.
Recall that the Rivers State government constituted a panel to probe the eight-year tenure of Amaechi as governor, especially an alleged missing N96 billion.
Amaechi went to court to stop the probe.
The case has gone from the High Court to the Court of Appeal and up to the Supreme Court.
Ruling on the matter on Friday, the apex court dismissed Amaechi’s appeal on the ground that it lacked merit as Amaechi was neither on trial nor indicted for the alleged offence.
Nyesom Wike, Rivers State governor, 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.
However, Amaechi a frontline presidential aspirant on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), went to court to stop Wike.
The former governor, represented by Lateef Fagbemi, predicated his opposition to the probe on the ground that it was aimed at witch-hunting, embarrassing and humiliating him in view of his political differences with his successor.
However, delivering judgment on Friday, a seven-member apex court panel dismissed the appeal.
But the court, however, held that the Wike probe panel was not competent to indict him.
In a statement by his media office, Amaechi said the judgement has vindicated him
The statement titled, “Supreme Court Judgment Vindicates Amaechi,” reads:
“Nigeria’s apex court today ruled on the appeal filed by Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi against the Rivers State Government on the Justice Omereji Judicial Commission of Inquiry.
“The Supreme Court in dismissing the Appeal however pronounced that the function of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry was mere investigative, that nobody, neither Amaechi nor anyone else, was on trial before the panel.
“The Supreme Court ruling clearly vindicates the former Governor of Rivers State. The apex court was categorical and clear that Amaechi was not on trial. The implication of this is that any indictment from the Commission is null and void and cannot stand.
“With this judgment, Amaechi has been vindicated and it cleared him of all purported or alleged indictment by the Governor Wike Commission. It has been further settled that the decisions/recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry and subsequent White Paper issued by the State Government is not a conviction or indictment and cannot stand.
“From the onset, it was obvious to any discerning mind that the Commission was set up to embarrass, denigrate and humiliate Amaechi. The apex court judgment today, further buttressed this stance. A Commission purportedly set up to investigate past financial transactions was actually a Commission to personally witch-hunt Amaechi.”