A bench warrant has been issued by a high court in Port Harcourt, the Rivers capital, against former Governor of the state, Rotimi Amaechi, and Tonye Cole, governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), in the state.
Justice Chinwendu Nwogu also issued a bench warrant against Sahara Energy Resources Limited, Chamberlain Peterside, NG powers HPS Limited, and Cenpropsaroten Management Limited following a lawsuit filed by the Rivers state government for alleged misappropriation of public funds against Amaechi during his tenure as governor of the state from 2007 to 2015.
Criminal charges were filed after Governor Nyesom Wike constituted a seven-man panel in 2022 to probe Amaechi over an alleged withdrawal of N96 billion from the treasury during his tenure as governor. They investigated sale of valuable assets such as Omoku Gas Turbine, Afam Gas Turbine, Trans Amadi Gas Turbine, Eleme Gas Turbine, Olympia Hotel, and the contract award for the execution of the monorail project.
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Though Amaechi has insisted that he is not guilty of fraud, the supreme court dismissed his application challenging the probe.
The bench warrant was issued against the defendants for failing to appear before the court over the criminal charges against them.