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The Government of Rivers State has confirmed the withdrawal of the criminal charges against the former governor, Rotimi Amaechi, the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state, Tonye Cole, and five others.
When the matter resumed for ruling on the legality of the use of a private lawyer to prosecute the matter rather than the attorney general of the state, counsel to Rivers State government informed the court of their decision to withdraw the suit.
However, the defense counsel argued that withdrawing the suit at this point was an abuse of court process and asked the court to dismiss the criminal charges.
Read Also: Return Africa’s Stolen Assets, Artefacts, Buhari Warns West
However, the trial Judge, Justice Okogbule Gbasam, in his ruling instead struck out the charges.
The judge ruled that the plaintiff has the right to discontinue with the matter.
The Rivers state Government had filed criminal charges against the former minister of Transportation, the APC governorship candidate Tonye Cole and five others over alleged illegal sales of state assets.
Meanwhile, the President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari has made a case for the return of stolen assets and artifacts stolen from Africa by the West.
The President made the demand in an article he wrote on Wednesday, saying the clamour for the repatriation of looted treasures is becoming irresistible.
According to the Nigerian leader, Nigerians were delighted by the news this summer that 72 artefacts, known as the Benin Bronzes, held by the Horniman Museum in London were returning home, 125 years after being plundered by British troops.
Meanwhile, Germany signed an agreement on Friday to begin sending hundreds of Benin bronzes back to the Federal Government, rubber-stamping the biggest effort yet by a European country to return the looted artworks.
Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock and Culture Minister Claudia Roth signed the deal with their Nigerian counterparts in Berlin after Germany first announced that it would begin returning the bronzes last year.