Barely 24 hours after a High Court sitting in Port Harcourt stopped a commission of inquiry from investigating the crisis rocking the Rivers State House of Assembly, the state government has vowed to appeal against the judgement.
Justice Iyayi Laminkara, had on Friday, restrained Justice Iyayi Laminkara, and the state Attorney- General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Worgu Boms, from receiving or implementing any recommendation by the commission.
A lawmaker representing Port Harcourt Constituency III in the House of Assembly, Mr. Victor Ihunwo, had approached the court, asking it to declare the commission of inquiry set up by the governor illegal and unconstitutional.
Ihunwo had argued that since Amaechi was an interested party in the crisis affecting the state House of Assembly, it was not proper for him (governor) to set up the commission of inquiry to investigate the fracas.
But a statement signed and issued in Port Harcourt by the state Commissioner for Information and Communications, Mrs. Ibim Semenitari, stated that the state government would not accept the judgement.
“The Rivers State Government has been informed of the judgement of the Rivers State High Court presided over by Justice Iyaye Lamikanra, restraining the judicial commission of inquiry constituted pursuant to the Rivers State Commission of Inquiry law to examine and make findings with respect to the disturbances on July 9 and 10 in the Rivers State House of Assembly, which disturbances agitated the peace of the state for those two days and after,” Semenitari said.
The commissioner argued that the governor had the power under the law to commission an inquiry into any matter.
She explained that the law did not state any circumstance in which the governor could be barred from constituting a commission of inquiry.
“For the avoidance of doubt and for purposes of clarification, Amaechi, as the Governor of Rivers State, has powers under the law to commission an inquiry into any matter or issue.
“However, such matters arose as the enabling law does not state the categories or circumstances in which the governor can be prevented from constituting such inquiries.
“Consequently, the exercise of such power does not make him a judge any more than the appointment of a High Court judge also makes him a judge in any matter concerning him before such judge that he appointed.
“To the extent that the judgment of Justice Iyayi Lamikanra did not recognise this principle, the Rivers State Government does not accept it and shall take steps to appeal against it,” the commissioner stated.