Thursday, September 3, 2015 7:53 pm
Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt.
The Rivers Judicial Commission of Inquiry, headed by Justice George Omereji, has ruled that the probe panel has no compelling powers to issue warrant of arrest for Emma Chinda, the Commissioner for Agriculture or any person or persons invited but deliberately refuses to appear before the panel.
Justice Omereji said this, based on the submissions made by Ken Atsewete, the Counsel to Emman Chinda, the former Commissioner for Agriculture, that his client had filed an injunction at a state High Court barring Judicial Commission from inviting him or issuing a warrant of arrest to compel him to appear before the panel.
Justice Omereji who gave ruling on matter today said the Police would not be involved in the service of summons of those whose names have been mentioned in matters being looked into by the panel. He stated this when he rejected the application of Dr Zacchaus Adango, the Counsel to the Commission, that a warrant of arrest be issued on Chinda to answer questions bordering on the collection of millions of Naira to alleged Cooperative societies instead of farmers.
The Counsel to the former Commissioner, Atsewete, said he was satisfied with the ruling of the Commission because the suit filed against it would soon be heard.
In a similar development, George Tolufari, the former Commissioner for Transport who was also invited by the probe panel has withdrawn the case he filed against the Commission at the Abuja High Court demanding a restraining order against the panel from probing the previous administration, less than 24 hours after he filed it at the Federal High Court, Abuja. However, the case was subsequently struck out by Justice Adeniyi Ademola, after his lawyer, R E. Nwanagor, made oral application withdrawing the suit. No reason was given for the withdrawal.
The commission of inquiry also continued its investigation of the transaction involving the state-owned Olympia Hotels. Members of the commission also took a tour of the site of Olympia Hotels within Old GRA area in Port Harcourt.