The Judicial Commission of Inquiry set up by the Rivers State Government to investigate the crisis that rocked the state House of Assembly on July 9 and 10 has summoned the Minister of State for Education, Chief Nyesom Wike; the state Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Felix Obuah; and the state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Joseph Mbu.
The trio are expected to respond to allegations against them.
Evans Bipi, Victor Ihunwo, Micheal Okechukwu Chinda, and Martins Amaewhule; and the former chairman of Emohua Local Government Area of the state, Chukwuemeka Woke,Mrs. Oluchi Iwuoha Chimezie of Television Continental (TVC); the General Manager, Nigeria Television Authority (NTA); the General Manager, 92.7 Niger Info FM; and the Port Harcourt Area Commander, Nigeria Police were also summoned.
In the statement titled: “Judicial Commission of Inquiry insists on fair hearing to all the parties in the crisis that rocked the assembly”, Justice Biobele Georgewill ,Chairman of the commission said the commission had to make the names of those invited public since they failed to appear before the panel.
“Following the refusal by some persons and organisations mentioned in the memos so far submitted by some affected persons to the commission of inquiry and forwarded to them by hand and through both NIPOST EMS and courier services, which copies were returned to the Secretary of the Judicial Commission, the judicial commission has directed the publication of the entire memos so far submitted to the judicial commission together with a hearing notice in a special edition of one of the local newspapers circulating within Rivers State, particularly the Port Harcourt Metropolis at great cost and expense to the judicial commission in a bid to ensure that all persons and organisations mentioned as having played any role in the said crisis in the memos so far submitted are given and afforded the opportunity to be heard on the allegations made against them by responding to those allegations made against them before the judicial commission in the overall paramount interest and of fair hearing, which is one of the twin pillars of the fundamental concept of fair hearing under the Laws of this great country, Nigeria"
However, the Obuah-led faction of the PDP has rejected the summons extended to Wike, Mbu and the party chairman.
The media adviser to Obuah, Jerry Needam, in a statement, said: "We are in court challenging the constitution of the panel. Amaechi can't be a judge in his own case. He was in the hollow chambers on the day of the incident. He is a suspect. He lacks the morality to inaugurate the committee. The report of the committee is already premeditated. Amaechi will use the report to indict his political enemies. He is targeting the minister and the chairman of the PDP. We reject the invitation and the panel."