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Court Restrains Amaewhule’s Group From Rivers Assembly Complex

The judge further restrained the defendants and their agents from disrupting and interfering with the exercise of their duties.


A file photo of the Rivers State High Court.

 

A Rivers High Court sitting in Port Harcourt has restrained the Martins Amaewhule-led group of the Rivers State Assembly from forcefully gaining access into the assembly complex, pending the hearing of the suit before it.

The House of Assembly and the Speaker, Edison Ehie, had approached the court in Suit No/PHC/3030/CS/2023, seeking, amongst others, an exparte order preventing Amaewhule and Maol, who are the first and second respondents in the suit, from forcefully gaining access into the Assembly complex.

In its ruling on Tuesday, the court also barred the lawmakers from using the assembly premises following the governor’s directive, Siminalayi Fubara, that the facility was under renovation.

READ ALSO: 27 Rivers Assembly Lawmakers Dump PDP For APC

While Amaewhule is believed to be loyal to ex-governor Nyesom Wike, Ehie is known to be in the camp of Governor Siminalayi Fubara.

The ex parte order Hon Justice Monina Danagogo issued in Port Harcourt, the Rivers state capital warned against using thugs and police officers to forcefully gain access to the the premises of the House of Assembly.

The judge further restrained the defendants and their agents from disrupting and interfering with the exercise of their duties.

APC Kicks

But the State Chairman of the Caretaker Committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Tony Okocha faulted the order. He accused the judge of bias, threatening to report him to the National Judicial Council.

“You are witnesses to the return of the era of ‘Jankara Judgement’ in Rivers state…the said Justice Danagogo is the younger brother of Chief Tammy Danagogo who currently serves as SSG to the Governor,” Okocha said.

“We know this is a ploy to allow the Governor to present the budget to the four lawmakers and we will not sit and allow this to happen.”

Mass Defections

The court order is on the heels of the surprising decision of 27 of the 32 assembly members to dump the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) – under which platform they were elected – for the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC).

For weeks, Amaewhule and another member, Edison Ehie, have been embroiled in a Speakership tussle.

In October, the Assembly under Amaewhule served an impeachment notice on Rivers Governor, Siminalayi Fubara and removed Ehie as the House leader. However, some members of the Assembly loyal to Fubara immediately impeached Amaewhule and made Ehie the new Speaker.

The crisis in the 32-member Assembly had begun as a result of a rift between Fubara and his predecessor, Wike, who is now the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

Though the two politicians have both attended same public events in the last few weeks and all seemed to have been settled but with Monday’s defection of 27 lawmakers from the PDP to the APC, more drama might unfold in the state’s political arena.