Rivers Murder Trial: Groups Call for Independent Investigation before Trial of Flag-Amachree


Ernest Chinwo in Port Harcourt

Scores of civil society activists on Monday took to major streets in Old Port Harcourt to call for thorough investigations into the allegations against a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Hon. Ojukaye Flag-Amachree, before commencement of his trial in court for murder.

Flag-Amachree, who is also a former chairman of Asari-Toru local government area of the state, is standing trial before Hon. Justice Margaret Opara for alleged murder of one Smart Soberekon in 2015.

The activists, under the aegis of Coalition of Civil Society Organisations (CSCO), as early as 7am, marched through major streets in Port Harcourt before heading to the Port Harcourt Prisons, where the APC chieftain is currently being remanded on the orders of the State High Court, accusing the state government of involvement in the “ordeal” of Flag-Amachree.

They carried placards with different inscriptions such as “no investigation, no trial”, “NJC save Rivers state from anarchy”, and “stop politicising justice”, among others, demanded that the state government must allow justice to take its course in the case.

They expressed concern over the health, safety and security of the APC chieftain, who had been in detention since April 2016 on the orders of both a Chief Magistrate Court and later a High Court.

Speaking to newsmen shortly after the march, the leader of the protesters, Comrade Lekia Christian, said they staged the protest to register their displeasure with the manner in which the state Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Emma Aguma (SAN), was “meddling in the administration of justice system” in the state.

Christian said, “Today, coalition of civil society groups came together to protest against what we see as improper way of going in the administration of justice. You will recall that in the eyes of the law, no matter what you are being accused of, until you are convicted by a court of competent jurisdiction, you are assumed to be innocent.”