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JUST IN: Court Stops Pro-Wike Lawmakers From Parading Themselves As Members Of Rivers Assembly

A Rivers State High Court in Port Harcourt issued an order on Friday, prohibiting Hon. Martin Chike Amaewhule from representing himself as the Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly.

The court’s decision followed a motion indicating that his position had been deemed vacant. The presiding Judge of High Court 19, His Lordship, Hon. Justice Charles N. Wali, ruled on a motion ex parte brought by the new factional Speaker of the House, Hon. Victor Oko Jumbo, and two others. The court also barred 24 other Assembly members loyal to the FCT Minister, Nyesom Wike, from entering the complex or engaging in legislative duties on behalf of the Rivers State House of Assembly.

Hon. Jumbo and his colleagues filed a Suit No: PHC/1512/C5/2024, seeking an order restraining those who switched parties from continuing as Assembly members. Justice Wali granted an interim injunction, preventing the 1st to 25th Defendants from acting as Assembly members pending further proceedings.

Furthermore, an interim injunction was issued, preventing the 26th to 28th Defendants from interacting with the aforementioned members. The 1st to 25th defendants had defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC), while the 26th to 28th defendants include Governor Siminalayi Fubara, the Attorney-General of the State, and the Chief Judge of Rivers State.

The court ordered the service of relevant documents to the 1st to 25th Defendants within seven days. The case was adjourned to May 29, 2024, for further proceedings.

In December 2023, the ruling PDP declared the seats of 27 members vacant for defecting to the APC. This move was based on Section 109 (1) (g) of the Nigerian Constitution, which states that a House of Assembly member vacates their seat if they switch parties before the end of the term.

Hon. Jumbo was elected as the new Speaker on May 8, 2024.

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