Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has inaugurated a Judicial Commission of Inquiry to investigate the violence, killings and other related matters that occurred during the February 23 and March 9, 2019 elections in the state.
Wike also inaugurated a panel into the violent invasion and attack on the Rivers State Judiciary and destruction of public properties, which occurred at the state judiciary complex in Port Harcourt on May 11, 2018.
The governor inaugurated both commissions yesterday at the Government House, Port Harcourt, with a charge that they should submit their reports within 30 days.
Justice Monina Danagogo was appointed as the Chairman of the Judicial Commission on Election Violence, while Justice Simeon Amadi chairs the commission on the invasion and attack on the state judiciary complex.
Wike explained that though the function before the two judicial commissions of inquiry would be tasking, he urged the members to work diligently to deliver within the scheduled period.
For the panel on violence, killings and related matters during the 2019 general election, the governor said some of their terms of reference are to investigate the remote and immediate causes of the violence, killings and other related acts/matters, which occurred during this year’s general elections in the state.
“Identify the sponsors and perpetrators of the various acts of violence and killings in the state during the period of the aforesaid elections. Identify the victims of the violence, including those killed during the said elections.
“Identify the motives, if any, behind the said violence, killings and other related acts/matters during the aforesaid general elections in the state,” he added.
The governor said that the panel investigating the violence during the 2019 general elections has 10 terms of reference.
For the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into the invasion of the State Judiciary, Wike explained that the panel had 14 terms of reference.
Some of them are, “To ascertain and identify the immediate and remote causes of and/or the motives behind the violent invasion and attack on the Rivers State Judiciary and destruction of public properties, which occurred at the judiciary complex, Port Harcourt on 11th May, 2018.
“Identify the persons who participated in, masterminded, counselled or procured others to participate in the violent invasion, attack, disruption of activities of the Rivers State Judiciary and destruction of public properties.
“Identify and ascertain the targets of the said invasion, violence and disruption of activities at the Rivers State Judiciary Complex on the aforementioned date.
Wike said that it is unfortunate that anyone would plot the attack on the Judiciary, which he described as the last hope of everyone.
He pointed out that a former Rivers State governor, who shut down the courts, was the first to seek refuge when the courts were re-opened.
Responding, Chairman of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry to investigate the violence, killings and other related matters during the 2019 elections, Justice Monina Danagogo, said that the commission would carry out its duties in line with the extant laws.
Also, Chairman of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into the violent invasion and attack on the Rivers State Judiciary, Justice Simeon Amadi, said the invasion of the state judiciary complex would not be swept under the carpet.
Amadi described the desecration of the temple of justice as anathema to any democracy.