Ernest Chinwo in Port Harcourt
Rivers State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Emmanuel Aguma (SAN), has raised the alarm that the Inspector General (IG) of Police, Solomon Arase, was desperately trying to stop the trial of former Chairman of Asaritoru Local Government Area of the state for the murder of one Smart Sobrekon.
Addressing journalists on Wednesday evening, Aguma said Arase had on two occasions tried to stop the trial of Flag-Amachree by attempting to withdraw charges of murder preferred against him.
He said following the failed attempts by the IG, the family and relatives of the accused had rained incessant attacks on his person and other officers of the state judiciary.
Aguma said the offence for which Flag-Amachree was charged happened in early 2015 when neither he (Aguma) nor Governor Nyesom Wike had assumed office as attorney general and governor respectively.
He said the police had concluded its investigation and established a prima facie case of murder against Flag-Amachree and consequently charged him to court. He therefore expressed surprise at the desperation of the inspector general of police to withdraw charges against him.
Hios words: “I want to make it categorically clear that I am merely conducting and carrying out my duties as constitutionally enshrined I. section 211 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended). It empowers the Attorney General, not the Inspector General of Police or any policeman, under any guise or any other Nigerian, no matter how highly placed, to constitute, continue and discontinue proceedings under criminal proceedings.
“The Federal Attorney General has those powers with regards to federal offences and the state Attorney General has those powers with regards to state offences. Both Attorneys General do not in any manner howsoever share these powers with any police officer. Legal decisions are bind on them. I am sure most IGs, of late, have been or claimed to be lawyers. So they will be aware of these provisions and so they should act in accordance with them.
“With specific reference to the Ojukaye Flag-Amachree case, the matter is currently pending at High Court Number 12, Port Harcourt and we are in the process of having bail hearing in Port Harcourt. Now, the story out there is that he may be a victim of a witch-hunt or he is being incarcerated unlawfully or that there is some form of vindictiveness in what is happening to him. All such insinuations are false.”
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