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Court Bars Rivers Speaker Amaewhule, 24 Others From Parading As Lawmakers

This order came after the Speaker and his colleagues defected from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

By Karo Oghenetega

The Rivers State High Court in Port Harcourt has issued an injunction preventing the Speaker of the state Assembly, aligned with Chief Nyesom Wike, and 24 other lawmakers from representing themselves as members of the Rivers State House of Assembly.

This order came after the Speaker and his colleagues defected from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Hon. Justice Charles N. Wali issued the order in response to a case filed by Rt. Hon. Victor Oko Jumbo (Speaker, Rivers State House of Assembly), Hon. Sokari Goodboy, Hon. Orubienimigha Timothy, and other members of the assembly against Hon. Martin Chile Amaewhule and 24 others, as well as the Governor of Rivers State, the Attorney General of the state, and the Chief Judge of the state.

Wali’s ruling, based on a Motion Ex-parte and arguments from legal representatives, directed Amaewhule to cease acting as a lawmaker. Additionally, the government of the state was instructed to stop recognizing these lawmakers’ seats as vacant following their defection from the PDP.

The order read: “An Order of interim injunction is granted restraining the 1st to 25th Defendants from parading and holding out themselves as members of Rivers State House of Assembly and/or meeting/sitting at the Auditorium of the House of Assembly Quarters located at off Aba Road, Port Harcourt or any other place whatsoever to purport to carry out the legislative business of the Rivers State House of Assembly, their legislative seats having been declared vacant pending the hearing and determination of the Motion on Notice.

“An Order of interim injunction is hereby made restraining the 26th to 28th Defendants from dealing with, interfacing, accepting any resolutions, bills and/or howsoever interacting with the 1st to 25th Defendants in their purported capacities as members of the Rivers State House of Assembly, their legislative seats having been declared vacant with effect from 13th December, 2023 pending the hearing and determination of the Motion on Notice.

“It is further Ordered that this Order, the Motion on Notice and the writ and other processes in this case be served on the 1st to 25th Defendants/Respondents within seven (7) days from date by substituted means to wit: by pasting at the entrance gate of the Rivers State House of Assembly Legislative Quarters, Off Aba Road, Port Harcourt and for such service to be deemed good and proper.”

The court, however, adjourned the case till the 29th of May, 2024 for Motion on Notice.

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