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Oko-Jumbo-led Rivers Assembly holds sitting, insists on challenging A/Court decision

There cannot be two Houses of Assembly in Rivers State or indeed any state in Nigeria. This House of Assembly with me as the Speaker is the only House of Assembly in Rivers State.

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Oko-Jumbo-led Rivers Assembly holds sitting, insists on challenging A/Court decision

The Rivers State House of Assembly led by Victor Oko-Jumbo has said it will challenge Thursday’s decision of the Appeal Court on the assembly crisis.

The Court of Appeal, Abuja had nullified the expulsion of Martin Amaewhule and 24 others from the Rivers State House of Assembly by the Rivers State High Court.

But the speaker of the group Victor Oko-Jumbo in his opening remark during a plenary on Friday said that he and his members believed that the Appeal Court erred in its decision.

“We strongly believe that the Court of Appeal was in error when it held that the Rivers State High Court lacked the jurisdiction to hear and determine SUIT NO PHC/1512/CS/2024,” he said.

“Accordingly, we have instructed our lawyers and they have filed an appeal to the Supreme Court of Nigeria challenging the judgement of the Court of Appeal delivered on the 4th day of July 2024.”

The lawmakers who met at the temporary chamber at the Government House in Port Harcourt as pronounced in the executive order by Governor Sim Fubara in December, also considered two bills.

Two bills are the “Rivers State Emergency Management Agency Bill, 2024” sponsored by the Leader of the Pro-Fubara lawmakers, Sokari Goodboy, and the “Rivers State Transport Reform Bill, 2024,” sponsored by Deputy Speaker of the group, Adolphus Timothy. Both bills passed the first reading.

READ ALSO: Rivers Crisis: Drama in Court as CSOs sue Amaewhule, 24 others

Full Text of Victor Oko-Jumbo’s Briefing

As the whole world knows, on the 11th day of December, 2023, Martin Amaewhule and his 24 friends defected from the Peoples Democratic Party to the All Progressives Congress.

On the 13th day of December 2023, Rt. Hon Edison Ehie as the Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly declared the seats of Martin Amaewhule and 24 others in the RSHA vacant.

That declaration by Rt. Hon Edison Ehie has not been set aside by any court in Nigeria.

When Martin Amaewhule and the 24 others, in spite of their defection from the Peoples Democratic Party to the APC and their seats being declared vacant, continued to parade as members of the RSHA, the legitimate members of RSHA filed suit no PHC/1512/CS/2024 against Martin Amaewhule & 24 others in the High Court of Rivers State, where the court made orders restraining Martin Amaewhule & 24 ORS.

Dissatisfied with the rulings of the Rivers State High Court in suit No PHC/1512/CS/2024, Martin Amaewhule & 24 ORS filed Appeal No. CA/PH/198/2024 at the Court of Appeal, Port Harcourt Division.

Yesterday, the 4th of July, 2024, the Court of Appeal in its lead judgment allowed the appeal by Martin Amaewhule & 24 ORS on the ground that the Rivers State High Court lacked the jurisdiction to hear and determine the case. Accordingly, the Court of Appeal struck out suit No. PHC/1512/CS/2024 and nothing more. The Court of Appeal did not make any declaration that Martin Amaewhule & 24 ORS did not defect from the PDP to APC.

The Court of Appeal also did not make any declaration that Martin Amaewhule & 24 ORS are still members of the RSHA.

We strongly believe that the Court of Appeal was in error when it held that the Rivers State High Court lacked the jurisdiction to hear and determine SUIT NO PHC/1512/CS/2024. Accordingly, we have instructed our lawyers and they have filed an appeal to the Supreme Court of Nigeria challenging the judgment of the Court of Appeal delivered on the 4th day of July, 2024.

There cannot be two Houses of Assembly in Rivers State or indeed any state in Nigeria. This House of Assembly with me as the Speaker is the only House of Assembly in Rivers State.

Martin Amaewhule & 24 ORS in spite of all their pretences are no longer members of the Rivers State House of Assembly and they remain so until a court of competent jurisdiction says otherwise.

Once again, we, the legitimate members of the RSHA, hereby call on the Independent National Electoral Commission to promptly conduct a bye-election to fill the vacant seats in the RSHA.

We strongly urge the general public to ignore Martin Amaewhule & 24 ORS in their pretence that they are members of the Rivers State House of Assembly.

 

Proofreading, editing by Sakinat Musa Abubakar and Jamila Yunusa Suleiman, Editor and Sub- editor at Neptune Prime

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