Rivers: Centre Applauds Court Ruling Declaring 25 Assembly Seats Vacant

Rivers: Centre Applauds Court Ruling Declaring 25 Assembly Seats Vacant—The Centre for Justice and Truth in Nigeria (CJTN) has welcomed a High Court ruling restraining the 27-member Martin Amaewhule-led Rivers State House of Assembly from parading themselves as lawmakers.


Recall that Amaewhule and 24 other members of the Assembly had defected from the Peoples Democratic Party to the All Progressives Congress in December.


In a statement signed by its President Edward Usman, the Centre also applauded the interlocutory injunction order stopping Governor Governor Siminalayi Fubara and the Chief Judge of the State from interfacing with them.


Usman said the judgment is another watershed in our jurisprudence as it has helped to halt the illegality the former members wanted to perpetuate in Rivers State.


“We warmly welcome the landmark judgement delivered by the Rivers State High Court, which granted an interim injunction restraining 25 lawmakers from parading themselves as members of the state House of Assembly. This courageous decision is a triumph of justice, upholding the rule of law and the democratic principles that our nation was founded upon,” Usman said.

“The background of this case is well known. In a brazen display of political opportunism, 25 members of the House of Assembly defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC), clearly violating the Constitution and the Electoral Act. This move was a blatant attempt to subvert the will of the people, who elected them to represent the PDP in the House of Assembly.

“By granting this interim injunction, the Rivers State High Court has upheld the principle of democratic representation and the rule of law. It has sent a clear message that our democracy is not a playground for political adventurers and that the rights of the people will not be trampled upon.

“Furthermore, the court’s declaration of the seats of the 25 lawmakers as vacant is a significant blow to political impunity. It reinforces the notion that elected officials are accountable to the people and that their actions have consequences. We commend the judiciary for their bravery and commitment to justice.

“Moreover, the court’s prohibition on Governor Fubara and the Chief Judge from engaging with the 25 lawmakers is a welcome development. It ensures that the executive and judicial arms of government do not collude to undermine the democratic process.

“We call on all stakeholders to respect this judgement and allow the legal process to run its course. We urge the people of Rivers State to remain vigilant and continue to demand that their elected representatives uphold the principles of democracy and the rule of law.

“This judgement is a victory for democracy, a victory for the people of Rivers State, and a victory for the rule of law. We hail the judiciary for standing firm in the face of political pressure and upholding the Constitution.”

The Centre, however, advised the former lawmakers to take advantage of time to present themselves for a fresh election as soon as possible.

The Centre also urged erstwhile members to mount pressure on the Independent National Electoral Commission to conduct fresh elections that will return to the Assembly through the proper channel.

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