Rivers Assembly crisis: ‘Maintain status quo, suspend sittings’— Court orders warring parties


A Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt has issued an order urging the two factions in the Rivers State House of Assembly to maintain the status quo and suspend further deliberations pending the determination of their case in court.

Saga Gist recalls that following some disagreement arising from the attempt by the former leadership of the House to impeach the State Governor, Siminalayi Fubara, the Rivers State House of Assembly has been facing a leadership crisis, which has led to the removal of the former speaker and the election of Ehie Edison in his place.

Edison, in suit No. FHC/PH/CS/240/2023, had approached the Federal High Court, presided over by Justice Phoebe Ayua, praying for the court to stop 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 the new Speaker and the House of Assembly.

Parties, as it appears in the suit, are Rivers State House of Assembly as the first plaintiff and Ehie Ogerenye Edison (Speaker, Rivers State House of Assembly) as the second plaintiff, while the defendants are Martins Chike Amaewhule (former Speaker), Dumle Maol (former Deputy Speaker), the Inspector-General of Police, Director of the Department of State Security Services in Rivers State and Commissioner of Police of Rivers State.

Justice Ayua, ruling on the motion filed, 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 reads 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 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 itself 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 with or participating in the functions of the House of Assembly.

After entering the order, the court fixed November 27 for a hearing.

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