The Rivers State Government has revealed that it would take steps to appeal against the judgement of Justice Hon Justice Iyaye Lamikanra which has restrained the Judicial Commission Of Inquiry set up by Governor Rotimi Amaechi to look into the State House of Assembly crisis from sitting.
A statement by Ibim Semenitari, Commissioner of Information and Communications said “The Rivers State Government has been informed of the judgment of the Rivers State High Court presided over by the Hon Justice Iyaye Lamikanra restraining the Judicial Commission of Inquiry constituted pursuant to the Rivers State Commission of Inquiry law to examine and make findings with respect to the disturbances on the 9th and 10th of July in the Rivers State House of Assembly which disturbances agitated the peace of the state for those two days and after.
“For the avoidance of doubt and for purposes of clarification, the Rt. Hon. Chibuike Amaechi, CON, as Governor of Rivers State has powers under the law to commission an inquiry into any matter or issue, however such matters arose as the enabling law does not state the categories or circumstances in which His Excellency can be prevented from constituting, such inquiries. Consequently, the exercise of such power does not make him a judge any more than the appointment of a High Court Judge also makes him a judge in any matter concerning him before such judge that he appointed. To the extent that the judgment of Justice Iyaye Lamikanra did not recognize this principle, the Rivers state Government does not accept it as well reasoned and shall take steps to appeal against it.
Meanwhile,the Rivers State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has lauded the ruling of a Port Harcourt High Court Friday August 16, 2013 presided over Justice I. A. Iyayi Lamikanra dissolving the Judicial Commission of Enquiry set up by Gov Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi into the crisis that rocked the State House of Assembly July 9, 2013.
According to a statement issued and signed by Jerry Needam, Special Adviser on Media to the State Party Chairman, Hon Felix Obuah, 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 the setting up of the Commission ab initio was ill-intended and had no other motive than to witch-hunt perceived opponents of Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi who is also a party in the crisis.
“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.
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 noted.
The state party leadership however regrets even though it holds the individual members of the dissolved commission of enquiry in very high esteem that they should in the first instance accept to serve in such illegal commission which it described as a tool for indictment of opponents and probably, also aimed to rubbish the hard earned reputation of the members of the panel.
The party said 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.