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Court Stops Rivers Chief Judge, House Clerk From Taking Resolutions Of 27 Pro-Wike Lawmakers

JURISDICTION OF COURTS IN NIGERIA

 

A High Court sitting in Rivers State has barred the Chief Judge of the state, Justice Someone Amadi, from giving effect to any resolution by the 27 defected lawmakers in the state.

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The issue of the alleged defection of 27 members of the Rivers State House of Assembly led by Hon. Martin Chike Amaewhule, from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC) has been a subject of several court cases.

The Court of Appeal in Abuja had nullified the expulsion of Martin Amaewhule and 24 other lawmakers from the Rivers State House of Assembly.

The appellate court’s decision had overturned the earlier ruling by the Rivers State High Court, which had ordered the expulsion.

The court ruled that Section 272(3) of the Constitution grants the Federal High Court the authority to decide if a House of Assembly member’s seat has become vacant.

It had ruled that the Federal High Court had exclusive jurisdiction to determine if the seats have become vacant.

However, in a fresh order dated July 8, 2024 and obtained by SaharaReporters on Monday, the Court also barred the state clerk of the State House of Assembly from acting on the lawmaker’s resolutions.

The fresh order issued by the court presided over by Justice Jumbo Stephen reads: “That an Order of Interim Injunction is hereby made restraining the 31st and 32nd Defendants from dealing or howsoever relating with the 1st-27th Defendants as members of the Rivers State House of Assembly and from receiving, forwarding or howsoever acting on any resolutions, articles of impeachment or other documents or communication from the 1st — 27th, defendants pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice for interlocutory injunction already filed herein.

“That the parties to this suit are hereby directed to maintain the status quo ante in this suit as at 5th July 2024 pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice for interlocutory injunction already filed herein.

“An Order is hereby made for substituted service of the originating and other processes in this suit on the 1st— 30th Defendants by pasting the same at the gate of the Rivers State House of Assembly Quarters, opposite former NDDC headquarters, off Aba Road, Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

“That this matter is hereby adjourned to the 15th day of July 2024 for the motion on notice for interlocutory.”

Lawmakers affected by the order are; Hon. Dumle Maol, Hon. Major Jack, Hon. Franklin Uchenna Nwabochi, Hon. Christopher Kagbang Ofiks, Hon. Azeru Opara, Hon. Enemi Alabo George, Hon. Granville Tekenari Wellington, Hon. Ngbar Bernard, Hon. John Dominic Iderima, Hon. Queen Uwuma, Hon Tony Williams, Hon. Loolo Isaiah Opuende and Hon Abbey Peter.

Others are; Hon. Igwe – Obey Aforii, Hon. Justina Emeji, Hon. Ignatius Onwuka, Hon. Chimezie Nwankwo, Hon. Lemchi Prince Nyeche, Hon. Barile Nwakoh, Hon. Emilia Lucky Amadi, Hon. Nkemjika Ezekwe, Hon. Davios Arnold Oxobiriari, Hon. Nwankwo Sylvanus, Hon. Gerald Oforii and Hon. Wami Solomon.

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