Paul Obiajunwo, Port Harcourt
Right group, International Society for Social Justice and Human Rights (ISSJHR) has sued Rivers State government and members of the Commission of Inquiry before the Federal High Court in Port Harcourt, describing the setting up of commission of inquiry as illegal.
The group said Rivers State government lacks the requisite constitutional authority or standing to set up a commission of inquiry to investigate the killing that took place in the December 10, 2016 rerun/ supplementary elections in Rivers State.
It would be recalled that Governor Nyesom Wike on 22nd December, 2016 set up commission of inquiry to investigate the remote and immediate causes of the violence and killing that took place during the rerun legislative elections in the states.
In a suit No: FHC/PH/CS/02/2017 which was obtained by our reporter, the group which is the plaintiff in the matter, is seeking a clarification from the court to know where the defendants/ respondents which include Rivers State government, Attorney General of the state and Rivers State House of Assembly got its power.
Speaking yesterday at a press briefing, the Chancellor of the group, Chief Omenazu Jackson and Paul Nwankwoala, the Director of Legal Services, said they are in court to inform the world that the commission of inquiry set up by Rivers State government is unconstitutional, illegal null and void.
Nwankwoala said his group has an order restraining the committee chairman, Secretary and members of the Rivers State commission of inquiry from continuing to sit as a commission or to investigate the causes of the violence and killing , during the December 10, 2016 rerun.
He said both Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the police are all Federal agent, adding that state cannot investigate the Federal government.
He said: “ISSJHR is a legal right and advocacy group, we are a constituent body under the extend law of Nigeria. The primary objective of this organization is to ensure that the rules of law prevail. We notice with dismay an attempt by the Rivers Government to occasion bridges to extent law of Nigeria
“ As a human right body we felt that the Rivers State government has taken a wrong step because government has no authority constitutionally or otherwise to set up such a commission of inquiry to investigate the causes and killing during rerun election.
“What do we do in that regard, is to approach the Federal High Court to challenge the impropriety, constitutionality and the power of the Rivers State government to set up the commission? We cannot fold our hands and allow few persons to desecrate the law for their personal interest.”
Effort to reach the Rivers State Commissioner for Information, Dr. Austin Tam-George proves abortive as all the text messages sent to him concerning the matter were not replied during the press time.