Fubara Camp Mum As APC Hails A’ Court Verdict On Rivers Lawmakers

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While allies of the Rivers State Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara are yet to react on the appeal Court judgment which vacated the state High Court injunction that sacked Martin Amaewhule and 24 other lawmakers loyal to FCT Minister, Nyesom Wike, as members of the State House of Assembly, the Caretaker Committee Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State, Chief Tony Okocha has hailed the verdict.

Recall that Justice Charles Wali of Rivers State High Court had on May 10, 2023 issued an interim injunction restraining the pro-Wike lawmakers led by Hon. Martin Amaehwule from parading themselves as members of the Assembly, after purportedly dumping the political party that sponsored their elections, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The court’s order followed a suit filed by Victor Oko-Jumbo and others loyal to the State Governor, Siminalayi Fubara, who contended that Amaewhule and others who defected from the PDP to the APC, forfeited their membership of the Assembly since December 13, 2023, when their seats were declared vacant by the then factional Speaker, Hon. Edison Ehie, who later resigned and was appointed the Chief of Staff to Governor Fubara.

The High Court granted the prayers of the plaintiffs and barred the pro-Wike lawmakers from accessing the Assembly complex or carrying out any legislative assignments.

Dissatisfied, Amaewhule and his colleagues approached the Appeal Court to overrule the state high court’s order, arguing that the court acted beyond its jurisdiction when it issued the restraining order against the 25 lawmakers, urging the court to also invalidate all the legislative actions taken by the Oko-Jumbo led Rivers State House of Assembly.

Delivering judgment on the suit on Thursday, the appellate court sitting in Abuja, vacated the lower court’s order that sacked the pro-Wike Rivers lawmakers, declaring that the Rivers State High Court lacked the requisite jurisdiction to restrain the lawmakers from performing their duties state assembly members.

Reacting to the Appeal Court’s judgment, the Rivers APC Chairman, Tony Okocha expressed delight over the development, stating: “I don’t know of any sweeter moment than this because the Court of Appeal judgment has come to settle gray areas in our society.

“I had always said that the state was sitting on a keg of gunpowder and that at some point it was a regime of supermarket orders. “The court of appeal said that the order sort be made or made by Justice C. N Wali was in nullity.

“The Court of Appeal said it did not follow the principles of fair hearing. So all of those are thrown into the trash can. It consolidated all issues and dealt with them one by one.

“At the end of the day, as meticulous as they are, I commend their industry. It is perfect reasoning that they have espoused. The worst any other person can do is to see whether they can approach the supreme Court and I do not know how the supreme Court will say that a judge that has no jurisdiction over a matter and assumed jurisdiction that such a court is right.

“I think the Court of Appeal should recommend that judge for scrutiny by the NJC, so that some of them will learn their lessons. He knew, it was deliberate, it was pecuniary interest that must have led him. So all matters, Omotosho, CN Wali are all dead.

“The court said the status quo before the matter was at all instituted in any court. So what is the implementation, that Martin Amaewhule is the Speaker and that Martin has all the powers. All the actions they had gotten involved in, they are nullified, the Commissioners they screened, the so-called attorney general,” he added.

 

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