The Rivers State government has filed a fresh suit against former Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Amaechi; the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Tonye Cole; former commissioner for power, Augustine Wokocha; and Sahara Energy over alleged sales of government assets and misappropriation of fund.
Recall that the Governor Nyesom Wike administration in Rivers State had in October 2022 withdrawn the earlier criminal charges before Justice Okogbule Gbasam, against the former minister, the governorship candidate of the APC and five others without any reason.
But this time, the defendants are facing seven count criminal charges bordering on misappropriation of public funds, especially the proceed gotten from the sales of the Rivers State-owned gas turbines during the administration of Amaechi as governor of the state between 2007 and 2015.
When the matter was mentioned at the State High Court in Port Harcourt on Thursday, the presiding judge, Justice Chiwendu Wogu, directed that all the parties should be served and adjourned the matter till January 19, 2023 for hearing.
Speaking to newsmen after the court session, one of the counsels representing the Rivers State government, Alphonsus Sibi, explained that his client believes that the sale of the state owned gas turbines and other assets was done with criminal intention.
Sibi disclosed that the state government wants to ascertain from the court if the proceeds from the sales of the assets were lawfully utilised by the defendants.
“We have the prayer of the Attorney General to prosecute a seven count charge against the former governor Chibuike Amaechi, the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Tonye Cole, former commissioner for power, Augustine Wokocha, and Sahara Energy Limited.
“We are seeking justice for the court to ascertain whether the utility of the funds were in conformity with the law.
“We are alleging that it was not lawfully utilised. The sales of the power plant in Omoku and several others stations were not lawfully dealt with and they portray criminal intention for which we are in court to prove to the court,” he said.