An Appeal Court in Port Harcourt, Rivers State capital, has revoked the bench warrant of arrest issued against former state Governor, Rotimi Amaechi, Tonye Cole and with two others.
Tonye Cole, All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate in the 2023 elections, and Augustine Wokocha, Commissioner for Power under Amaechi, were also named in the original warrant.
The recent court decision comes in response to an appeal filed by Amaechi and his co-defendants, seeking to invalidate the lower court’s order.
The appeal presided by a panel of three judges, with a majority of two deciding to set aside the order. The remaining judge disagreed.
Justice Abdul-azeez Waziri, who delivered the ruling prepared by Court Presiding Judge Joseph Ikyegh, said the lower court’s order was a defiance of the Court of Appeal.
The judge said that the arrest warrant was issued while Amaechi already had a challenge to the service of information, under Section 313 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law in the state, lodged with the Appeal Court.
Amaechi’s lawyer, Achinike Wobodo, reacted to the ruling, emphasizing that the lower court should have respected the hierarchy Courts in the nation’s judicial system.
Alphansus Sibi, a lawyer representing the state government, accepted the Appeal Court’s decision in good fate.
Recall that the arrest warrant, originally issued last month by a State High Court in Port Harcourt in connection with a criminal case initiated by the Rivers State Government.
The dispute involves the sale of public assets, including the state’s gas turbines, by the Amaechi’s administration to Sahara Energy, a company owned by businessman-turned-politician, Tonye Cole,the APC Governorship.