Court Ruling On Pro-Wike Lawmakers Overdue, Victory For Democracy, Say G60 Lawmakers, Lawyers

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A group of Federal Lawmakers, otherwise known as G-60 and Constitutional Lawyers, have described the High Court’s declaration of seats of 27 defected Members of Rivers State House of Assembly vacant as a long overdue and victory for democracy.

A Rivers State High Court sitting in Port Harcourt had issued an interim injunction restraining the embattled Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Hon. Martins Amaewhule, and 24 others from parading themselves as members of the House.

The court presided over by Hon. Justice Charles Wali, also restrained the affected lawmakers from meeting or sitting at the auditorium of the House of Assembly quarters, located off Aba Road, Port Harcourt, or any other place whatsoever, to carry out or purport to carry out the legislative business of the Rivers State House of Assembly, as their legislative seats have been declared vacant pending the hearing and determination of the Motion on Notice.

The suit was filed by the newly elected factional Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Victor Oko-Jumbo, and two other lawmakers.

Also joined as defendants in the suit were the Governor of Rivers State, the Attorney-General of Rivers State and the Honourable Chief Judge of Rivers State.

Reacting to development, the G-60 Federal Lawmakers and Constitutional Lawyers said the court’s ruling has finally settled months of illegality and rascality perpetrated by Amaewhule and his co-travelers and saved the country’s democracy from destruction.

In a joint statement, signed by Hon. Ikenga Ugochinyere and Obe Agu, the Federal Lawmakers and Constitutional Lawyers said the Judiciary has once again shown it is the hope of a common man and institution of adjudication of dispute as well as interpretation of the constitution/laws.

According to them, the restrained members of the Rivers State of House had not only violated the Constitution but trampled on democracy and make Nigeria a laughing stock in the comity of nations; sitting illegally and making laws even when they ceased to be lawmakers since they criminally jettisoned the platform through which they were elected without any justification.

“However, the Rivers State High Court has finally come to rescue of the Constitution and democracy which Amaewhule and his conspirators have brazenly violated and trampled on with reckless abandon.

“As we have always insisted, the seats of those respective former lawmakers had become vacant by virtue of the provision of Section 109 (1) (g) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) when they defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC) since last year.

“For emphasis, Section 109 (1) of the 1999 Constitution provides that ‘a member of a House of Assembly shall vacate his seat in the House if … (g) being a person whose election to the House of Assembly was sponsored by a political Party, he becomes a member of another political party before the expiration of the period for which that House was elected.

“As if their desecration of the Constitution and democracy was not enough, those defiants had before being restrained by the Rivers High Court commited a lot of aberration by making laws that were inimical to good governance and economic development of the the state.

“It is on note that during their period of impunity, Amaewhule and his team of clowns attempted to illegally extended the tenure of local government chairmen just a few weeks to the expiration of their tenure in an abuse of the legislative process that could not be enforced. which was the height of legislative rascality and a coup against democracy that was dead on arrival.

“They had also overrided the assent of Governor Siminialayi Fubara to pass the Rivers State Public Procurement (Amendment) Bill 2024. To them, the Rivers State Public Procurement (Amendment) Bill 2024 sought to delete Section 3 of 2021 amendment Law to ensure that mobilisation fee of not more than 20 per cent of any contract sum is paid to suppliers or contractors, supported by a contract performance bond. How on earth could 20 per cent be enough for any serious government contractor to mobilise to site and commence work.

“But all that is over now with the timely intervention of the High Court through the declaration that their seats are vacant and they can not further engage such shenanigans,” they stated.

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