The All Progressives Congress, APC, Abia State chapter, has called on the state House of Assembly to respect the judiciary and stop the investigation into how the N22 billion Paris Club refund was utilized in the state.
Following a petition to the State House of Assembly over the management of the N22 billion Paris Club refund against the former Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Obinna Oriaku; the Speaker, Chief Chinedum Orji, had set up a committee to investigate the allegations of mismanagement of the fund.
However, in a statement by the state Publicity Secretary, APC Abia, Benedict Godson, the party reminded the Assembly that the case is still in court, stressing that the Speaker; Chief Chinedum Orji must avoid any form of legislative disrespect for the judiciary until the case is determined.
The APC stated that the Speaker is involved in the case and must stay away from the probe and dismissed reports that the Speaker has nothing to do with the probe since he is not a member of the ad-hoc House committee investigating the matter.
The party further stated that the House cannot investigate a matter which is already being heard in court.
The party listed; FCT/HC/CV/2470/2017, Mauritz Walton Nig Ltd v Abia State, Ziplon concept and FCT/CV/0175/2017, Ziplon concept Ltd v Government of Abia State; as some of the ongoing cases in court.
“The committee set up by the House to investigate the N22bn Paris club refund case already ongoing in court with whatever excuse that it was brought to them by a lawyer or a law firm is unacceptable and a sign of desperation.
“How can a House led by a Speaker, who is purely involved in the case, convince a sane person that their purported move to ascertain the validity or otherwise of the allegations raised by a former Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Obinna Oriaku, is in the interest of Justice?
“Our stand is simple; Abia House of Assembly is not a court of competent jurisdiction. It is a legislative arm of government, its Speaker is directly or indirectly involved in the case.
“We don’t want to dwell on the baseless argument that the Speaker is not the person to chair the investigation committee
“All we are saying is that the House of Assembly should not try to interfere in a case that is already in court for whatever reason.
“Therefore, let them stay off the case and continue with their legislative duties. Let them allow the court to handle the matter, as it has appeared in court as an ongoing case.
“Therefore, the best thing Abia State House of Assembly should and must honourably do is to allow the court to do its job and not to claim to investigate issues that are already in court.”