Fubara’s Loyalists To Challenge Appeal Court Ruling on Rivers Assembly

A faction of the Rivers State House of Assembly, led by Victor Oko-Jumbo, has announced its intention to challenge the recent verdict of the Appeal Court, which declared Martins Amaewhule as the authentic Speaker of the House. This announcement was made during a sitting of the Assembly in Port Harcourt.

The Court of Appeal in Abuja, on Thursday, set aside a previous order that had restrained Amaewhule from presenting himself as the Speaker.

The three-member panel, led by Justice Jimi Kayode-Bada, also lifted an order preventing Amaewhule and 25 other lawmakers from identifying themselves as members of the House. The court ruled that the Rivers State High Court lacked jurisdiction to address issues related to the defection of lawmakers.

Victor Oko-Jumbo, who is aligned with Governor Siminalayi Fubara, expressed the Assembly’s belief that the appeal court made an error in its ruling by stating that a state high court could not adjudicate such matters. Oko-Jumbo emphasized their commitment to challenging the verdict and seeking further legal recourse.

He said: ”I remain the authentic speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, there cannot be two Houses of Assembly in any state, not in Rivers.”

He stressed the Amaewhule and 24 other lawmakers’ seats were validly declared vacant by the then speaker, Edison Ehie.

“On December 13, 2023, their seats were declared vacant following their defection from the Peoples Democratic Party to the All Progressives Congress on December 11, 2023.”

“That declaration by the then speaker, Edison Ehie has not been set aside by any court in Nigeria.”

“The Assembly secured an order restraining Martins Amaewhule and the 24 other lawmakers from parading as speaker and members of the assembly.”

“The Court of Appeal did not make any declaration that Martin Amaewhule and 24 others did not defect from the PDP to APC. It did not also make any declaration that they were still members of the house.”

“Despite their pretences, Martins Amaewhule and the 24 others are no longer members of the Rivers State House of Assembly as we speak.”