In from Timothy Enietan-Matthews . . .
There are indications that the Senate may have received a court order purportedly stopping the screening of the immediate past governor of Rivers State, Rotimi Amaechi.
The order, allegedly given by a Rivers State High Court, sources say, may have been served on the Senate before close of work on Wednesday.
The order, said to have been obtained by one Livingston Wechie through a group, Integrity Group, hinges the action on claims that the former governor corruptly enriched himself while in office as Rivers State governor.
However, the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State claimed the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is behind the latest development, as available documents show that Wechie is a card carrying member of the party and indeed served as a member of the campaign committee of the PDP in Rivers State.
Amaechi had denied every of the allegations, describing it as a witch-hunt.
In a quick reaction however, the Rivers State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has denied the existence of any court order stopping the screening of Amaechi.
The party stated in a statement issued in Port Harcourt on Thursday by its publicity secretary, Chris Finebone, that it had searched in all the Federal High Courts across the country and did not find any such proceeding pending, or an order before any court in the country.
Below is full text of the statement:
Our attention has been drawn to a Statement being circulated in the media that Mr. Livingstone Wechie has obtained a court order restraining the Senate from Screening Rotimi Amaechi as a ministerial nominee.
Following the announcement, we have made frantic search at the Federal High Court across the Country and did not find any such proceedings pending or order before any Court in the Country, the Federal High Court being the only Court that has jurisdiction to determine any matter in which the Senate is made a party and its duties and functions are the subject matter, in view of Section 251 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).
Again, because we are aware of the desperation of the PDP and Mr. Livingstone Wechie on this matter, we have nonetheless carried out a search at the High Court Registry in Rivers State, and no indication that such Order exists at the High Court of Rivers State, except if such order is given to Mr. Livingstone Wechie in the sitting room of a Judge, which we know that no right thinking judicial officer will do so, especially at this time that the National Judicial Council is desirous of sanitizing the Judiciary.
Clearly, the State High Court has no powers or jurisdiction under the Constitution to determine a matter in which the subject matter relates to the duties or functions of the Senate. The distinguished and Honourable Judges of the Rivers State High Court are fully aware of this Constitutional provision. We strongly believe that none of them would be drawn into such level of judicial rascality or abuse of office, no matter the inducement or incentive.
We urge all good people of Rivers State to remain calm and await the Senate Report and action as has been announced by the Most Distinguished Senate President.
We hereby give notice to the Directorate of State Security Services and the Nigerian Police to investigate this level of misinformation that is capable of breaching the peace. We urge them to be vigilant and watch for any attempt to forge and criminally alter documentation at the Rivers State High Court Registry.
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