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Saturday, July 13, 2024

Pro-Wike Lawmakers Gives Fubara 7 Days Ultimatum To Re-Present Bill , Or Face Impeachment

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Following the Court of Appeal ruling which nullified the expulsion of pro-Wike lawmakers in Rivers State, the 24 lawmakers under the leadership of Martin Amaewhule, has issued a seven-day ultimatum to governor Siminialayi Fubara to re-present the 2024 Appropriation Bill.

The ultimatum was given as the House resumed its session on Monday, July 8.

The session was held at the auditorium of the Assembly quarters on Aba Road, Port Harcourt.

Meanwhile, another faction of lawmakers led by Victor Oko-Jumbo also held a plenary session on Monday at the Government House in Port Harcourt.

Previously, the 2024 Budget was passed by a group of lawmakers led by former factional Speaker Edison Ehie.

Mr Ehie subsequently resigned from his position and was appointed Chief of Staff to the governor. The bill, signed by governor Fubara, has been operational in the state since then.

Meanwhile, the Assembly’s demand for the re-presentation of the budget highlights the ongoing political tensions in the State.

Recall that a Rivers State High Court in Port Harcourt, in May, barred the lawmakers from parading themselves as members of the state’s House of Assembly after they defected from the PDP to the APC.

The embattled lawmakers are backed by the former governor of the state, Nyesom Wike who is the current minister of FCT.

Wike has been entangled in a protracted political battle with his predecessor, Siminalayi Fubara over the control of the political structure in the oil-rich state.

 

Three lawmakers loyal to Mr Fubara have been running the affairs of the Rivers State assembly since the court barred their colleagues from parading themselves as lawmakers.

While delivering judgment on Thursday last week, a three-member panel of the Court of Appeal held that the lower court lacked the jurisdiction to grant the exparte order.

The appeal court held that Section 272(3) of the 1999 Constitution as amended gives the Federal High Court powers to determine whether the seat of a House of Assembly member has become vacant.

It held that the Federal High Court has the exclusive jurisdiction to determine the vacancy of a House of Assembly seat.

The express mention of the Federal High Court in Section 272 (3) of the Constitution automatically excludes all state high courts from having the jurisdiction, the court held.

It ruled that the exparte order having been made without jurisdiction is null and void.

While functioning as assembly members, the pro-Wike lawmakers passed several laws by overriding Governor Fubara’s veto.

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