The Supreme Court upheld the Court of Appeals’ decision that the Rivers state government cannot appoint its panel as a judicial commission of inquiry.
The However, in rejecting the appeal, the Supreme Court stated that the function of the judicial commission of inquiry was merely an investigation, that no one was tried before the body and therefore the question of a fair trial did not arise.
The Supreme Court found that the commission was purely investigative and could not convict or prosecute.
Governor Nyesom Wike had established a judicial commission of inquiry in the year 2015 to investigate some transactions by the Rivers State Government led by Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, the immediate former Secretary of Transportation.
Amaech i presented the establishment of the panel as a judicial commission of inquiry in place of the Co.-mandated Commission of Inquiry Law of Rivers State.
The former minister also raised the issue of the denial of his Appealed right to a fair hearing by the government panel.
The two courts that previously dealt with the matter now ruled that the governor had the legal authority to issue a to set up an investigative body called the Judicial Commission of Inquiry.
However, they believed that the decision of the investigative committee did not constitute a conviction or indictment to adversely affect Amaechi in this matter to justify anyone else.
Amaechi, unhappy with the decision to have a governor give the panel a different name than that used by the inquest
With today’s ruling, legal experts say it is now clear that a governor cannot set up a commission of inquiry as a judicial commission of inquiry or as a judicial commission as Commission of Inquiry ( simpler).
It was further stipulated that the decisions/recommendations of a Commission of Inquiry and subsequent White Paper issued by any government do not constitute a condemnation or indictment, as they adversely affect a person seeking electoral office.