All NewsNews

Court strikes out suit to sack 27 Rivers lawmakers


By Olusegun Olanrewaju

Tension is surfacing once again in Rivers State as a high court in Port Harcourt yesterday declared that the 27 pro-Nyesom Wike loyalist House of Assembly members led by the speaker, Martin Amaewhuke, are still members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Delivering his judgment, the presiding judge, Okogbule Gbasam, held that the claimants failed to prove that Amaewhule and the 26 lawmakers had defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Gbasam noted that defection could not be established through newspaper publications, radio announcements, or online publications, as tendered by the claimants.

The judge held that membership in a party is only proven by being listed on its register, or by a membership card, and such members must fulfill all requirements of their membership in the party.

Consequently, the judge ruled that the lawmakers have not lost their seats.

Rather, he said, the Rivers State government is bound to obey all laws passed by the Assembly.

Gbasam’s judgment comes less than a week after another state high court judge, Charles Wali, had issued an interim order restraining the lawmakers from carrying out legislative functions over defection claims.

In an earlier ruling delivered on May 30, Wali stopped the lawmakers from conducting legislative sittings anywhere, including within the legislative quarters, pending the determination of the suit.

The Rivers assembly has been polarised since 2023, following the rift between Governor Siminalayi Fubara and the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), and Nyesom Wike.

In December 2023, 27 members of the assembly defected from the PDP to the APC.
The Rivers assembly has 32 seats. One of the lawmakers, Dinebari Loolo, died in September 2023.

In October 2023, amid the plot to impeach Fubara, Ehie Edison was elected speaker of the factional assembly after his removal as house leader by members led by Amaewhule.

Edison later resigned as a lawmaker to become chief of staff to the governor.

The lawmakers in the Amaewhule-led faction are loyal to Wike.

Recently, the lawmaker representing the Bonny constituency, Victor Jumbo, was elected factional speaker.

Show More

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Back to top button

Adblock Detected

Please turn off Adblocker or whitelist this website in your Adblocker to enable us display ads