Court to Consider Suit for Removal of Pro-Wike Lawmakers

Governor Siminalayi Fubara and Nyesom Wike
Governor Siminalayi Fubara and Nyesom Wike

The Federal High Court in Port Harcourt has scheduled March 18, 2024, as the date to hear a suit aiming to remove the 27 members of the Rivers State House of Assembly who switched from the Peoples Democratic Party to the All Progressives Congress.

According to reports, the 27 lawmakers, headed by Speaker Martin Amaewhule, are aligned with former Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike. They shifted from the PDP to the APC during the political turmoil involving Wike and the incumbent governor, Siminalayi Fubara.

The suit, filed by the Rivers State Civil Society Organisations, aims to sack them.

The plaintiff's contention is that under Section 109 of the 1999 Constitution, lawmakers must relinquish their seats in the Assembly if they abandon the party through which they were elected into the legislature.

Due to the absence of the presiding Judge, Justice Stephen Dalyop Pam, the suit scheduled for Monday was adjourned till March 18.

The Court of Appeal, Port Harcourt Division, also granted a request on Monday by some Rivers elders, led by Chief Arabs Sara-Igbe and nine others, to serve court papers to the leader of the pro-Wike lawmakers through substituted means in a related development.

The Rivers elders are urging the court to void the resolutions reached by the Rivers State Governor, Fubara, Wike, and the lawyers at a December meeting in Abuja under the leadership of President Bola Tinubu.

The Rivers elders are maintaining that Tinubu's involvement in the Wike and Fubara crisis was in accordance with the constitution, and they are petitioning the court to annul the resolution reached at the meeting.

To resolve the political crisis between Wike and Fubara, Fubara was instructed to recognize and present the 2024 budget to the pro-Wike lawmakers; he was also directed to reabsorb nine pro-Wike commissioners who had resigned their appointments during the crisis.

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