Don’t Exceed Your Power, Judge Warns Fubara

Justice James Omotosho said the court is against any plan to jeopardise democracy.

FILE PHOTO: Governor of Rivers State Siminalayi Fubara (Facebook/Sir Siminalayi Fubara)


Justice James Omotosho of the Federal High Court Abuja, on Monday, warned Governor Siminalayi Fubara not to “exceed his power” as Rivers State governor.

Omotosho said the court is against any plan to jeopardise democracy, and thereby declared that the governor, by himself or by members of the staff of the Rivers State Public Service is not entitled to take steps aimed at interfering with the affairs of the River State House of Assembly, and the Speaker, in the performance of their duties.

He said the governor cannot withhold the due funds of the lawmakers in the state’s Consolidated Revenue Fund.

The judge subsequently restrained the National Assembly from accepting any requests from the governor.

Justice Omotosho also observed that the governor’s legal team had withdrawn all his processes in the matter, adding that it means that he admitted all the facts stated by the plaintiffs.

According to him, based on facts before his court, Martins Amaewhule remained the valid Speaker of the Rivers State House Assembly.

The judge said the purported sitting of Edison Ehie and four other lawmakers who sat to pass the budget of the state is null and void. The judge nullified the N800 billion budget passed by the Ehie-led group of the Rivers Assembly and signed into law by Fubara.

Omotosho said the court found it strange that the governor would destroy the Rivers State Assembly building as well as present an appropriation bill to five lawmakers.

He declared the presentation of the bill to the five lawmakers void. The judge granted the order setting aside the purported Appropriation Bill signed, despite the interim order of his court, restraining him.

The judge also granted the order restraining the governor from continuing the demolition or construction of the Rivers Assembly building.

The court said all the acts of the governor with four lawmakers a nullity and he should go through the lawmakers presided over by Amaewhule.