… Dismisses Amaechi’s appeal against ‘N96bn fraud probe***
The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed a suit by former Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dakuku Peterside seeking to set aside a six billion naira damages awarded against him for defaming the character of Dr Peter Odili, former governor of Rivers State.
In a judgment delivered by Justice Adamu Jauro, the appeal by Dakuku Peterside was dismissed for want of merit.
The apex court upheld the decisions of the lower courts which imposed a fine of 6 billion Naira against Peterside to be paid to Odili as compensation for his defamed character.
Odili had in October 2016 dragged Peterside to court demanding N6 billion as damages for character defamation.
In the suit, the former Rivers State governor had claimed that Peterside during a press conference in Port Harcourt defamed him in his allegations that Governor Nyesom Wike’s Supreme Court victory was hatched by him.
In another development, the Supreme Court on Friday dismissed an appeal by Rotimi Amaechi, former minister of transportation, seeking to stop his probe in an alleged N96 billion fraud.
Justice Adamu Jauro who led the seven-member panel of justices while delivering judgment dismissed the appeal for lacking in merit.
The apex court affirmed the judgments of the High Court of Rivers and that of the Court of Appeal which had earlier dismissed the same suit for want of substance and merit.
The court also asked the former minister to pay the respondents N1 million.
Amaechi had approached the Supreme Court praying for an order of the court to prohibit his successor, Gov. Nyesom Wike from investigating his 8-year tenure as the executive governor of Rivers.
The former governor represented by Lateef Fagbemi said the probe was aimed at witch-hunting, embarrassing, humiliating and disgracing him in view of his political differences with his successor.
The probe is for Amaechi to give an account of how N96 billion was allegedly withdrawn from the treasury of the state government and how it was spent during his tenure.
Wike had instituted a commission of inquiry to look into the alleged sale of valuable assets of the state during Amaechi’s tenure.
The listed assets are Omoku Gas Turbine, Afam Gas Turbine, Trans Amadi Gas Turbine, Eleme Gas Turbine, Olympia Hotel and the award of contract for the execution of the MonoRail Project.
The newsmen report that Amaechi is a presidential aspirant on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).