From Ekaete Ikubor
Rivers state Government has withdrawn the criminal charges it instituted against a former Minister of Transportation, RotimiAmaechi.
The state government also withdrew similar charges filed against the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC in the state, Tonye Cole, and five others.
The state had filed a criminal suit accusing them of selling government’s assets running into billions of naira when Amaechi was the state governor.
When the matter resumed for ruling on the legality of a private lawyer to prosecute the matter, counsel for the state government who is the Attorney-General of the State and Commissioner for Justice, Prof. Zaccheus Adangor, informed the court that he was withdrawing the suit.
However, the lawyer to the APC, Amaechi and Cole argued that withdrawing the suit was an abuse of the court process and prayed the court to dismiss the criminal charges if the suit must be withdrawn.
The Presiding Judge, Justice Okogbule Gbasam, after listening to arguments, struck out the suit and the charges against the APC and others.
One of the lawyers to the defendants, Achinike Wobodo, while speaking to journalists on what transpired in court, said they were ready to face the state government whenever there was a fresh charge against their clients.
Wobodo said, “As it stands today, there is no charge against anybody in any court. We do not intend to pre-empt them whether they want to file any other charge or not”.
“We have said to Rivers people, these are just antics to paint these gentlemen in a bad light, he said.”