Politics

Rivers Unending Crisis: Court bars CJ, Clerk from accepting impeachment notice against Fubara from Amaewhule-led Assembly

Apprehensive that the Martins Amaewhule-led faction of the Rivers State House of Assembly may be hatching an impeachment plot against Governor Siminalayi Fubara, a Rivers State High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, on Monday, issued an exparte order of interim injunction barring the Chief Judge of the State and the Clerk of the State House of Assembly from dealing with the faction.

 

The order issued by Justice Jumbo Stephen also prevented the duo from dealing with Amaewhule and 26 others as members of the Assembly, and from acting on any resolutions, articles of impeachment, or communications from them.

 

The suit marked PHC/2177/CS/2024 was filed by the Attorney General of the State as the first plaintiff and the Governor of the State, Siminalayi Fubara, as the second plaintiff, against Martin Amaewhule and 26 others, as the first set of defendants, and Hon. Victor Oko-Jumbo, and others, CJ of the State and Clerk of the State House of Assembly and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as second set of defendants.

 

The court also ordered all parties to maintain the status quo ante litem as of July 5, 2024, until the motion for an interlocutory injunction is heard and determined.

 

“That an order of interim injunction is hereby made restraining the 31st and 32nd defendants from dealing or howsoever relating with the 1st-27th defendants as members of the Rivers State House of Assembly and from receiving, forwarding or howsoever acting on any resolutions, articles of impeachment or other defendants pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice for interlocutory injunction already filed herein.

 

“That the parties to this suit are hereby directed to maintain the status quo ante litem in this suit as of 5th July 2024, pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice for interlocutory injunction already filed herein.

 

“An order is hereby made for substituted service of the originating and other processes in this suit on the 1st-30th defendants by pasting the same at quarters, opposite former NDDC headquarters, off Aba Road, Port Harcourt, Rivers State.”

 

The court, however, adjourned till July 15, 2024 for the motion on notice for interlocutory injunction.

 

This is coming as the Rivers State House of Assembly, led by Martin Amaewhule, handed a seven-day ultimatum to Governor Fubara to re-present the 2024 budget to the House.

 

The faction of the state assembly loyal to the Minister of Federal Capital Territory, Chief Nyesom Wike, took the stand at its resumed sitting in a yet-to-be-disclosed location in Port Harcourt, on Monday.

 

A Court of Appeal in Abuja had, in a judgement last week, nullified the order of Rivers State High Court which stopped Amaewhule and 24 other legislators from parading themselves as lawmakers and sitting as legislators.

 

It also would be recalled that Fubara had presented an appropriation bill of about N800 billion for the 2024 Fiscal year to the House loyal to him, then led by Edison Ehie as Speaker, before his resignation to be appointed as Chief of Staff to the governor.

 

Ehie and others loyal to Fubara had deliberated on the bill, passed the budget, and was subsequently signed into law by the governor

 

But, President Bola Tinubu during an intervention into the crisis rocking the state and in an eight-point resolution, directed the governor to re-present the already passed 2024 budget of the state to the Amaewhule-led assembly.

 

However, on Monday, Amaewhule, who presided over the plenary issued the ultimatum following a resolution of the House during Monday’s plenary.

 

The lawmakers also resolved to communicate their decision to Governor Fubara through a letter.

 

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