Rivers Crisis: Appeal Court Reserves Judgment In Amaewhule’s Appeal

The Court of Appeal in Abuja has reserved its judgment on an appeal lodged by former Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Martin Amaewhule, and 24 other former members, against the current Speaker, Victor Oko-Jumbo, and five others.

This development follows a virtual court proceeding where all parties adopted their briefs, signaling the next phase in this high-stakes political and legal battle.

The controversy began when a Rivers State High Court in Port Harcourt ousted Amaewhule and 24 members from their positions on May 10, 2024, following a motion by the new Speaker, Victor Jumbo, which led to their seats being declared vacant.

The court also prohibited them from accessing the assembly complex or performing any legislative duties under the auspices of the Rivers State House of Assembly.

In response to their ousting, Amaewhule and his colleagues appealed the decision, requesting the Court of Appeal to stay execution of the High Court’s judgment that removed them from office and to set aside any decisions made by Jumbo while in office.

They also sought an accelerated hearing, arguing that the trial court had acted without jurisdiction.

On the opposing side, the current Speaker and his supporters argued that the appeal lacked merit, citing issues with the competence of the records of appeal that were transmitted.

Amid these contentious exchanges, the Appeal Court had earlier intervened on June 14, ordering all parties to maintain the status quo and halt any hostilities until the appeal was resolved.

This temporary directive was aimed at preventing further escalations and ensuring that the appellate process could proceed without external pressures.

The three-man panel, led by Justice Jimi Olukayode-Bada, after hearing from both sides, decided to reserve their judgment to a later date, which will be communicated to all involved parties.

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