Court sacks Rivers factional Speaker, Amaewhule, 24 other Members

NV News

A Rivers State High Court, sitting in Port Harcourt, on Friday, stopped Hon. Martin Chike Amaewhule from parading himself as Speaker of Rivers State House of Assembly, since his seat had been declared vacant.

The presiding Judge of High Court 19, His Lordship, Hon. Justice Charles N. Wali, while ruling on a motion ex-perte brought before it by the new Speaker of the House, Hon. Victor Oko Jumbo and 2 others; also barred 24 other Members of the Assembly from accessing the complex or carrying out any such Legislative assignment in the name of the Rivers State House of Assembly.

- Advertisement -

The Speaker, Hon. Jumbo and his Colleagues, had filed a Suit No: PHC/1512/C5/2024, asking the court to grant an order restraining those who detected from their original party that sponsored them into the Assembly to another political party, from conducting themselves as Members of the Parliament, having lost their seats.

Justice Wali therefore, granted an Order of interim injunction, “restraining the 1st to 25th Defendants from parading and holding out themselves as Members of Rivers State House of Assembly and/or meeting/sitting at the Auditorium of the House of Assembly Quarters located at, off Aba Road, Port Harcourt or any other place whatsoever to purport to carry out the legislative business of the Rivers State House of Assembly, their legislative seats having been declared vacant pending the hearing and determination of the Motion on Notice”.

An Order of interim injunction was also granted, “restraining the 26th to 28th Defendants from dealing with, interfacing, accepting any resolutions, bills and/or howsoever interacting with the 1st to 25th Defendants in their purported capacities as Members of the Rivers State House of Assembly, their legislative seats having been declared vacant with effect from 13th December, 2023 pending the hearing and determination of the Motion on Notice”.

- Advertisement -

The 1st to 25th defendants in this extant suit are the factional Speaker, Amaewhule and his colleagues who defected from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC), after winning elections; while the 26th to 28th defendants are Governor Siminalayi Fubara, the Attorney-General of the State and the Chief Judge of Rivers State, respectively.

The court further ordered that, “this Order, the Motion on Notice and the writ and other processes in this case be served on the 1st to 25th Defendants/Respondents within seven (7) days from date, by substituted means to wit: pasting at the entrance gate of the Rivers State House of Assembly Legislative Quarters, Off Aba Road, Port Harcourt and for such service to be deemed good and proper”.

The case was adjourned to the 29th May, 2024 for Motion on Notice.

Recall that, the ruling PDP had, in December 2023, declared the seats of 27 of their Members who won elections under the party’s tickets vacant, for defecting to the APC; while urging the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to immediately commence the process of conducting fresh elections into the 27 State Constituencies in Rivers State.

The PDP pointed out that by sequel to the defections from the party – the political platform on which they were elected into the Rivers State House of Assembly, the seats of the respective 27 lawmakers have become vacant by virtue of Section 109 (1) (g) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).

Section 109. (1) (g) of the Nigeria constitution clearly states that: ‘A Member of a House of Assembly shall vacate his seat in the House if being a person whose election to the House of Assembly was sponsored by a political party, he becomes a member of another political party before the expiration of the period for which that House was elected.’

Hon. Jumbo emerged new Speaker on Wednesday, 8th May, 2024.

Share This Article
Leave a comment