Ahead Of APC Presidential Primary: ‘Bad Day’ Gift For Amaechi As Supreme Court Orders Him To Account For N96bn
…Affirms N6bn Damages Against Dakuku For Defaming Odili
It was a bitter ‘birthday gift’ for the Minister of Transportation and former Rivers State governor, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi who clocked 57 today, Friday, May 27, 2022 as the Supreme Court has ordered him to go and face the Commission of Inquiry set up by the Rivers State government to investigate his 8-year tenure as governor of the State.
This is coming on the heels of the Presidential Primary of the All Progressives Congress (APC) scheduled to hold May 29 and 30, 2022, in which Amaechi is a top contender.
The apex Court dismissed an appeal by Amaechi, who marks his 57th birthday today, seeking the court to prohibit his successor, Governor Nyesom Wike from investigating his 8-year tenure as Executive Governor of the state.
Justice Adamu Jauro, who read lead judgment, held that it lacked merit, ought to be dismissed and was subsequently dismissed.
The Supreme Court affirmed the judgments of the High Court of Rivers State and that of the Court of Appeal which had earlier dismissed same suit for want of substance and merit, even as the apex court also slammed N1 million fine against Amaechi.
With the final decision of the apex court, Amaechi will be made to appear before the Commission of Inquiry headed by Justice George Omereji, to give account of how N96b was allegedly withdrawn from the Treasury of the State government and how it was expended.
The Commission of Inquiry inaugurated by governor Nyesom Wike is to look into the lawful or otherwise of the alleged sale of valuable assets of the State.
The listed valuable assets are Omoku Gas Turbine, Afam Gas Turbine, Trans Amadi Gas Turbine, Eleme Gas Turbine, Olympia Hotel and the award of contract for the execution of Mono Rail Project.
Meanwhile, it is also a gloomy day for the former Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Adol Peterside as the Supreme Court dismissed his suit seeking to set aside N6 billion damages awarded against him for defaming the character of the former Governor of Rivers State, Dr. Peter Odili.
In a judgment prepared by Justice Adamu Augie, but delivered by Justice Adamu Jauro, the appeal was dismissed for want of merit.
The apex court upheld the decisions of the lower courts which imposed a fine of N6 billion on him to be paid to Odili as compensation for his defamation of his character.
Odili had in October 2016 dragged Peterside to court, demanding N6 billion as damages for character defamation.
In the suit, the former Rivers State Governor had claimed that Peterside, during a press conference in Port Harcourt, defamed him in his allegations that Governor Nyesom Wike’s Supreme Court victory was hatched by him.
This allegation was made against the backdrop that Dr. Odili’s wife, Mary Ukaego Odili is a Supreme Court justice.