Charges Dropped: Rivers State Government Clears Ex-Lawmaker Igwe Arrested with $499m on Election Eve

The Rivers State Government has made the decision to drop money laundering and criminal charges against Chinyere Igwe, a former lawmaker. Igwe was arrested and brought to court on February 24, the day before the 2023 presidential election, on charges of possessing $499,000,000 in cash. After spending several weeks in custody, he was eventually granted bail.

During the resumed trial on Wednesday, the Rivers State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Professor Zacchaeus Adangor, announced the government’s decision to withdraw the lawsuit against Igwe. However, no explanation was provided for the withdrawal.

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Justice Stephen Daylop-Pam, the presiding judge, discharged the defendant after hearing the state’s position. The judge also ordered the police to return Igwe’s international passport and other seized exhibits since the defense counsel did not contest the state government’s decision.

In another development, an Appeal Court in Port Harcourt, the capital of Rivers State, has overturned a previous bench warrant of arrest that was issued against former Governor Rotimi Amaechi and two others. The warrant also named Tonye Cole, the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate in the 2023 elections, and Austine Wokocha, who served as Commissioner for Power under Amaechi. The recent court decision came in response to an appeal filed by Amaechi and his co-defendants to invalidate the lower court’s order. A panel of three judges assessed the appeal, with a majority of two judges deciding to set aside the arrest warrant, while one judge disagreed with this outcome.

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