Wednesday, February 7, 2018 5:24 pm
Controversies over amnesty allegedly granted to the late Don Wanny killer gang is still raging between Rivers and the Imo State governments.
The Rivers State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice Emmanuel Aguma, SAN on Monday described as illegal, the granting of amnesty to members of the late Don Wanny criminal gang who massacred 23 person in Omoku, Rivers state by the Imo state Governor Rochas Okorocha.
Governor of Rivers State, had recently raised alarm that there is an on-going attempt by the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State to procure amnesty for alleged criminals and murderers he had declared wanted in collaboration with the security agencies.
Following that accusation, Rivers State Attorney in the statement he issued on Monday alerted that a group of the ‘murderous characters’ led by one Emenike Agamu whose criminal alias is “General Red Scorpion” were seen purportedly surrendering some of their weapons of terror and mass murder at a ceremony in Heroes Square, Owerri, Imo State some days ago.
He also noted that the Governor of Imo State was on hand to receive them.
In the statement, the Rivers AGF quoted Okorocha as saying that the “The state has forgiven them and will subsequently give their names to the Federal Government for Amnesty”
Rivers AGF noted that the Imo Governor did not grant Amnesty to the wanted criminal gang members, but said that “ he will give their names to the Federal Government for Amnesty”,
The AGF noted that in doing so, Okorocha has implicitly recognized that by the provisions of section 212 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, as amended, he has no constitutional power to grant amnesty to any person for an offence committed in Rivers State.
Aguma further explained that By section 1 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic or Nigeria 1999, as amended, the President can only grant amnesty with regard to offences created by an Acts of the National Assembly.
He noted that the 32 persons declared wanted by the Government of Rivers State acting in concert with the Security Agencies are wanted in relation to offences created by the Rivers State House of Assembly such as Murder, Robbery, Rape, Kidnapping and cultism.
The AGF further noted that the offences were committed in Rivers State and the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria does not have the constitutional right to grant amnesty for such offences.
He also pointed out that the persons declared wanted by the Government of Rivers acting in concert with the Security Agencies including Emenike Agamu, alias Red Scorpion, remain WANTED for the heinous offences they committed in contravention of laws created by the House of Assembly of Rivers State.
The N20m reward for information that can lead to the arrest of each of them remains in place, the AGF further asserted.
“Emenike Agamu, alias General Red Scorpion and his gang are not the beneficiaries of any Amnesty be it that of Imo State or the Federal Government. Governor Okorocha in his own words merely forgave them – an act that is biblical, but has no place in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, as amended,” said the Rivers AGF.
Aguma therefore advised security agencies to disregard the ceremony in Owerri as a ‘legally ineffective charade’. According to him, security agencies can arrest the alleged criminals anywhere they are found for the purpose of their being brought to trial in Rivers State.