By Joshua Chibuzo Andrew, Owerri
A Rivers High Court sitting in Port Harcourt has issued a bench warrant for arrest of former governor Rotimi Amaechi; the candidate of APC in the state in the 2023 governorship election, Tonye Cole; and a former Commissioner for Energy in the state, Augustine Wokocha.
The Court issued the warrant at the commencement of hearing of the fresh criminal suit on misappropriation of public funds of about $50m files against Amaechi, Wokocha and Cole by the Governor Nyesom Wike administration.
The State Government withdrew its earlier suit on the alleged misappropriation.
The trial judge, Justice Chiwendu Nwogu, also issued a bench warrant on Chamberlain Peterside, Sahara Energy Resources Limited, NG Powers-HPS Limited, and Cenpropsaroten Management Limited.
The Judge issued the bench warrant when it was discovered that the defendants were not in court to take their plea.
Though counsels for the defendants unanimously informed the court of their motion on non-service of court processes, the judge insisted on issuing the bench warrant.
The trial judge refused to hear the motion by the defendants and thereafter, adjourned the matter to the 5th of July, 2023.