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Oko-Jumbo: Groups pass vote of confidence on Rivers Speaker 

The Rise Up For Nigeria, Coalition Against Injustice in Nigeria, Independent Human Rights Monitors, and 97 other groups have passed a vote of confidence on Speaker of the Rivers State Assembly, Victor Oko-Jumbo.

This follows the Appeal Court judgement over the vacant seats of former Speaker Martin Amaewhule and 24 other lawmakers after their defection from the People’s Democratic Party to the All Progressives Congress.

In a statement signed by Peter Bawa, its National Coordinator and Convener, the groups said Oko-Jumbo remains the authentic Speaker of the House of Assembly recognised by law.

“We wish to state that the Court of Appeal did not make any declaration that Amaewhule and 24 others did not defect from the PDP to APC,” Bawa said.

“Furthermore, the Court of Appeal did not make any declaration that Amaewhule and others are still Rivers State Assembly members.

“This clearly means that their seats are still vacant, and Victor Okon-Jumbo is the rightful Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly. This will remain so until a Court of Competent Jurisdiction says otherwise.”

The groups, therefore, urged Oko-Jumbo to remain focused on his primary assignment, aimed at bettering the lives of Rivers people, adding that in due course, these 25 former lawmakers will be disgraced again, and their true identity revealed to the world.

“We appeal to Oko-Jumbo not to be distracted by the recent judgement but to remain focused on his duties as Speaker. He is on the right track, and we encourage him to continue upholding the Constitution and serving the people of Rivers State,” Bawa said. 

“We applaud Victor Oko-Jumbo for his courage and commitment to upholding the Constitution and serving the people of Rivers State. 

“We urge him to continue to stand firm against the antics of these desperate politicians and to remain focused on his primary assignment. We also commend the people of Rivers State for their support and solidarity with Victor Oko-Jumbo and their rejection of the former lawmakers.

“We trust the Supreme Court to correct the errors of the Appeal Court by upholding the Constitution, which rightly spells out the penalty for defection.

“We have faith and confidence that justice will prevail. We call on all Nigerians to stand with us in this fight against injustice and to support Victor Oko-Jumbo in his efforts to uphold the Constitution and serve the people of Rivers State.

“Finally, we call on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to promptly conduct a bye-election to fill the vacant seats. This will ensure that the people of Rivers State are adequately represented in the House of Assembly and that democracy is upheld.”

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