• Court orders Rivers lawmakers to suspend sitting

    Court orders rivers lawmakers to suspend sitting - nigeria newspapers online
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    A Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt has ordered the two parties in the Rivers State House of Assembly to maintain status quo and suspend further deliberations until the matter before it is dispensed off.

    Ehie Edison, in Suit No: FHC/PH/CS/240/2023, had approached the Federal High Court presided over by Justice Phoebe Ayua, praying the court to stop Martin Amaewhule, and the other lawmakers from presiding over the activities of the legislative arm of the state.

    The notice was filed together with the main suit by  Ehie and the House of Assembly.

    Parties as it appears in the suit are Rivers State House of Assembly, as first plaintiff, and  Ehie Edison, (Speaker, Rivers State House of Assembly), as second plaintiff.

    The defendants are Martins Amaewhule, (former Speaker, Rivers State House of Assembly), and Dumle Maol (former Deputy Speaker, Rivers State House of Assembly.

    The others are, the Inspector-General of Police, Director, Department of State  Services, Rivers State and the Commissioner of Police, Rivers State.

    Justice Ayua, ruling on the motion filed in the suit ordered that none of the parties on record should do anything about the matter since all the parties are expected to respect the court.

    The order read in part: “That an order is made directing the plaintiffs/applicants to put the respondents on notice forthwith.

    “That an order is however, made, directing that all parties on record to respect the court and should not take any step concerning the subject matter, since the matter is already before this court – sub judice – pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.”

    In the suit, the new Speaker and the House of Assembly sought, amongst others, a declaration that the former speaker and his former deputy, having been removed and suspended from the House, are not entitled to participate, disturb, interfere or obstruct the performance of the legislative proceedings of the House and the legislative duties of the new speaker in accordance with the provisions of Sections 90 to 104 of the Constitution of Nigeria.

    They also sought an order restraining the former two principal officers of the House from interfering or participating in the functions of the House of Assembly.

    After entering the order, the court fixed for hearing the motion on notice on November 27, 2023.

    The PUNCH reports that following a disagreement arising from the attempt by some members of the House to impeach the state governor, Siminalayi Fubara, the state legislature has been in crisis.

    On Tuesday morning, police again took over the state assembly complex, while members loyal to both factions allegedly held separate sittings at different locations.

    Four police patrol vans were sighted at the entrance of the Assembly, while the movement of people and vehicles along the Moscow Road axis of the Assembly were restricted.

    An Armoured Personnel Carrier was seen moving from one end to the other on the road where the complex is located, while scores of armed operatives mounted strategic locations.

    It was gathered that 25 lawmakers led by Amaewhule sat early on Tuesday.

    The lawmakers reportedly deliberated on two items concerning the suspension of the strike by the Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria.

    They also called on the state Commissioner for Police, Olatunji Disu, to investigate the explosion at the Assembly which razed the  Chamber and destroyed several properties.

    Also, the other House members led by Ehie passed a vote of confidence on Governor  Fubara.

    Rising from a sitting on Tuesday, they commended the governor on his developmental strides and security initiatives to keep the state peaceful.

    A statement signed by Ken Uchendu, Legislative aide and sent to newsmen said it takes a man of vision to steer the ship of development for the benefit of the people of the state.

    The House resolved to continuously give the governor the required support to accomplish his consolidation and continuity agenda to benefit the state.

    The lawmakers condemned the attack on Ehie’s residence on Sunday night as well as the burning of the chamber of the House of Assembly.

    The House appealed to the governor to commence the rehabilitation works as soon as possible.

    It added, “Furthermore, the House impressed on the need for the Inspector General of Police, and other related security apparatus of state to investigate these attacks and bring the culprits to book.”

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