Court Restrains IGP, DSS from Withdrawing 26 Rivers Lawmakers’ Security Details

Justice Donatus Okorowo of the Federal High Court, Abuja, on Wednesday, restrained the Inspector-General of Police and the Department of State Services (DSS) from withdrawing the security details attached to members of the Rivers State House of Assembly led by Martin Amaewhule.

Amaewhule and 25 other lawmakers loyal to the Minister of Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nyesom Wike, dumped the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the heat of the political crisis in the state last year.

The PDP, thereafter, asked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to declare the defectors’ seats vacant and conduct fresh elections in the constituencies.

The lawmakers were restored to their positions following the intervention of President Bola Tinubu in December 2023.

The judge gave the order while ruling on a motion on notice moved by Steve Adehi (SAN) on behalf of the 26 lawmakers.

The motion was not opposed by the PDP National Legal Adviser, Adeyemi Ajibade (SAN).

The 26 lawmakers had in the motion marked FHC/ABJ/CS/1681/2023/, urged the court to restrain the defendants from withdrawing their security details, among other reliefs.

The PDP, the Assembly, and its clerk were also listed as respondents in the suit.

In his ruling, Justice Okorowo directed the police and DSS to provide the lawmakers with adequate security in carrying out their legislative functions.

He also restrained INEC and the Assembly from declaring vacant or taking any step to declare vacant the seats of the lawmakers pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.

The judge equally stopped INEC from withdrawing their certificates of return or conducting fresh elections to fill their seats pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.