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Appeal court verdict: Pro-Fubara Assembly heads to Supreme court.

5th July 2024

Rivers State House of Assembly
Rivers State House of Assembly

The Victor Oko-Jumbo, led Rivers State House of Assembly, loyal to governor Siminalayi Fubara, has said it has filed an appeal at the Supreme Court to challenge the judgement of the Appeal Court delivered on Wednesday in Abuja.

Oko-Jumbo, said this in a statement issued in Port Harcourt on Friday by the factional Clerk of the House, Dr G. M. Gillis-West, and sent to newsmen.

The factional Speaker said 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 declared that he remains the Speaker of the state legislature because there cannot be two Houses of Assembly in the state.

He reiterated that the seats of Martin Amaewhule and 24 other former lawmakers remain vacant as declared by the then speaker, Edison Ehie, on 13th December, 2023, following their defection from the Peoples Democratic Party to the All Progressives Congress on the 11th day of December, 2023.

The statement reads, “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 explained that the legitimate members of the Rivers state House of Assembly secured a restraining order against Martin Ameawhule and the 24 others when they continued to parade as members of the RSHA despite their defection from the Peoples Democratic Party to the APC and their seats declared vacant.

    Oko-Jumbo said that because they felt dissatisfied with the rulings of the Rivers State High Court in Suit No. PHC/1512/CS/2024, Martin Amaewhule & 24 ORS had filed an Appeal No. CA/PH/198/2024 at the Court of Appeal, Port Harcourt Division.

    Continuing, he said, “Yesterday, the 4th of July, 2024, the Court of Appeal, in its lead Judgement, allowed the Appeal by Martin Ameawhule & 24 ORS on the ground that the Rivers State High Court lacked the jurisdiction to hear and determine the case.

    “Accordingly, the Court of Appeal struck out Suit No. PHC/1512/CS/2024 and NOTHING MORE. The Court of Appeal did not make any declaration that Martin Amaewhule & 24 ORS did not defect from the PDP to APC.

    “The Court of Appeal also did not make any declaration that Martin Amaewhule and 24 ORS are still members of the RSHA,” he pointed out.

    “We strongly believe 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.

    He said accordingly, the House of Assembly has instructed its lawyers and they have filed an appeal to the Supreme Court of Nigeria challenging the judgement of the Court of Appeal delivered on the 4th Day of July, 2024.

    “Martin Amaewhule & 24 ORS, in spite of all their pretences, are no longer members of the Rivers State House of Assembly, and they remain so until a court of competent jurisdiction says otherwise.

    “Once again, we are the legitimate members of the RSHA here by call on the Independent National Electoral Commission to promptly conduct a bye-election to fill the vacant seats in the RSHA.

    “We strongly urge the general public to ignore Martin Amaewhule & 24 ORS in their pretence that they are members of the RSHA. “



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