Rivers State Government has withdrawn criminal charges against Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi and Arc. Tonye Cole.
The criminal charges followed the outcome of a commission of inquiry set up by Governor Nyesom Wike to investigate the alleged sale of some state assets including some Gas Turbines, the Olympia Hotel, and the award of contract for the execution of the Mono Rail Project.
Amaechi challenged the legality of the commission of inquiry to the Supreme Court but the court said the commission was not a trial court.
The state government in June filed criminal charges against former Governor Amaechi and Cole over the alleged disappearance of $50m from the state’s coffers during his administration.
However, on Wednesday, the state government withdrew the charges for lack of merit.
Cole who is gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC saluted the Judiciary for having the courage not to be intimidated by the state government.
He said “As you have probably heard, The Rivers State government recently withdrew the case it instituted against my person for lack of merit.
“The state government had hoped they would be able to use their power to intimidate the judiciary to do their bidding, but we are grateful that our judiciary has shown itself to be upright and above reproach.
“The agents of the state government were loud when they approached the court, but with the judiciary having shown it cannot be used to fight political battles, the state government has quietly withdrawn their case, without any of the usual fanfare.
“I salute the courage of our judiciary and commend it’s leadership for the message of incorruptibility which they have sent to everyone who thought they could pervert justice through intimidation.
“This election is different – it is about the people of Rivers State. My people, I am for you and support your aspiration to escape poverty through better education, employment opportunities and access to healthcare for you and your families. If our families prosper, River State prospers, so my entire movement is to make this shared prosperity a reality in all of our communities.
“There will be more battles ahead, but I will stand for you, my people, emboldened by your support and belief in our movement.
“For anyone seeking to intimidate any law abiding supporters around the state, you will find our resistance swift and firm”.