Pro-Fubara Lawmakers Take Legal Battle To Supreme Court

The lawmakers loyal to Governor Siminalayi Fubara have filed an appeal at the Supreme Court, challenging the recent Court of Appeal ruling.

According to the factional Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Victor Oko-Jumbo, the appeal was necessitated by the fact that the Assembly “strongly believes that the Court of Appeal was in error when it held that the Rivers State High Court lacked the Jurisdiction to hear and determine suit no. PHC/1512/CS/2024.”

Oko-Jumbo maintained that he remains the authentic Speaker of the House and that the seats of Rt. Hon. Martin Amaewhule and 24 other embattled lawmakers remain vacant.

“There cannot be two Houses of Assembly in Rivers State or indeed any State in Nigeria. This House of Assembly, with me as the Speaker, is the only House of Assembly in Rivers State.

“As the whole world knows, on the 11th day of December, 2023, Martin Amaewhule and his 24 friends defected from the Peoples Democratic Party to the All Progressive Congress.

“On the 13th Day of December, 2023, Rt. Hon. Edison Ehie, as the Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, declared the seats of Martin Amaewhule and 24 others in the RSHA vacant. That declaration by Rt. Hon. Edison Ehie has not been set aside by any court in Nigeria,” he said.

The Rivers APC Chairman, Tony Okocha, has expressed delight over the Appeal Court’s judgment, stating that it has settled gray areas in the society.

“I don’t know of any sweeter moment than this because the Court of Appeal judgment has come to settle gray areas in our society.

“I had always said that the state was sitting on a keg of gunpowder and that at some point it was a regime of supermarket orders.

“The court of appeal said that the order sort, be made or made by Justice C. N Wali was in nullity.

“The Court of Appeal said it did not follow the principles of fair hearing. So all of those are thrown into the trash can. It consolidated all issues and dealt with them one by one.

“At the end of the day, as meticulous as they are, I commend their industry. It is perfect reasoning that they have espoused. The worst any other person can do is to see whether they can approach the supreme Court and I do not know how the supreme Court will say that a judge that has no jurisdiction over a matter and assumed jurisdiction that such a court is right.

“I think the Court of Appeal should recommend that judge for scrutiny by the NJC, so that some of them will learn their lessons. He knew, it was deliberate, it was pecuniary interest that must have led him.

“The court said the status quo before the matter was at all instituted in any court. So what is the implementation, that Martin Amaewhule is the Speaker and that Martin has all the powers. All the actions they had gotten involved in, they are nullified, the Commissioners they screened, the so-called attorney general,” Okocha stated.

However, the National Democratic Coalition (NDC) has criticized the appellate court’s verdict, stating that it gives license to politicians to defect from the party upon which they were elected to another without consequences.

“The Appeal Court has now created new complications with the judicial precedence it has set instead of giving rulings that stabilise Nigeria’s democracy and enhance the rule of law”, the coalition’s executive director, Dr. Samson Iroegbunam said in an interview.

The group has urged the people of Rivers State to remain calm, as “the judgment will not stand the test of time, especially since democratic-minded stakeholders in the state have indicated that the matter shall be pursued to the Supreme Court.”

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