BREAKING: Court validates pro-Wike lawmakers’ seats

A High Court sitting in Port Harcourt on Monday affirmed that Martin Amaewhule and the 26 other members of the State House of Assembly who are loyalists of former governor Nyesom Wike are still members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The 27 lawmakers had announced their defection to the opposition All Progressives Congress, APC in December 2023.

Subsequently, there have been calls that their seats should be declared vacant because of their defection from the platform on which they were elected into office, especially by the camp of Governor Fubara who has been engaged in battle for control of political

Fubara had also derecognized the lawmakersand is now dealing with a three -man assembly led by one Oko Jombo for the confirmation of his appointees and other necessary legislative inputs.

However, Justice Okogbule Gbasam of the Rivers State High Court on Monday said its cannot be proved that Amaewhule and 26 other lawmakers, had defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The suit was instituted by Hycenth Amadi & others with Martin Chike Amaewhule & 24 others, the Governor of Rivers State, the Attorney General of Rivers State and Rivers State House of Assembly as defendants.

The Judge ruled that the claimants have not been able to prove that the names of Amaewhule and the 26 other lawmakers are now in the membership register of APC.

The Court ruled that the party’s register or membership card, and not television ceremonies and or verbal statements, were the only acceptable proofs of party members.

The Court also ruled that the Claimants have failed to prove that Martin Amaewhule and 24 others have defected to APC as alleged as the Court cannot rely on newspaper and electronic media publications as enough evidence.

The 27 lawmakers are still members of the PDP since their names are still in the PDP’s membership register as provided by the party, the court ruled.

Furthermore, the judge ruled that the 25 members never lost their seats and everything they did are valid.

Consequently, it ordered that Governor Fubara must comply with all the laws passed by the lawmakers.

Federal High Court presided over Justice Kolawole Omotosho had previously ruled that Martin Amaewhule-led lawmakers loyal to Wike are still bonafide members of the Rivers House of Assembly.

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