UPDATED: Rivers Court Restrains Amaewhule, 24 Others From Parading As Legislators

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The Rivers State High Court in Port Harcourt has granted an interim injunction restraining pro-Wike speaker of the state House of Assembly, Martin Amaewhule, and 24 other members from parading themselves as legislators.

The court directive prohibits them from convening or participating in any official meetings at the Assembly premises.

The court’s decision stems from an exparte order filed against the pro-Wike lawmakers by pro-Siminialayi Fubara speaker Victor Oko Jumbo and three others.

The interim injunction declares the seats of the 1st to 25th defendants vacant pending further legal proceedings.

Additionally, the court issued a restraining order, prohibiting Governor Fubara and the chief judge, who are the 26th and 28th defendants in the suit, from engaging with Amaewhule and his 25 loyalists.

This action is due to the defendants’ defection from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progress Congress (APC) on December 13, 2023.

The court also directed Amaewhule and the others to hand over all official documents within seven days. The case is adjourned until May 29 for a motion on notice.

The Rivers State House of Assembly has been embroiled in a crisis since last year which has seen the House balkanized into two, with some loyal to the Minister of Federal Capital Territory Nyesom, and others to Governor Fubara.

In December, the crisis took an interesting turn when 27 members led by Amaewhule defected from the PDP to the APC.

While the members loyal to Wike were led by Amaewhule as speaker, others loyal to Fubara were led by Edison Ehie as their speaker. The governor later appointed Ehie as his chief of staff, leading to his resignation.

However, things took another twist on Wednesday when the members loyal to Governor Fubara elected the member representing the Bonny constituency, Victor Oko-Jumbo, as their speaker.

Oko-Jumbo in his acceptance speech thanked the members for electing him as the new speaker sequel to Ehie’s resignation.

He called on the executive and judiciary as well as the public to disregard every law purportedly enacted by the Amaewhule-led Assembly, describing it as an exercise in futility.

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