Court reinstates pro-Wike lawmakers in Rivers state

The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja, Federal Capital Territory (FCT) has nullified the expulsion of a former Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Martin Amaewhule, and 24 other lawmakers from the assembly.

Penpushing reports that it is recalled that a Rivers State High Court in Port Harcourt, had in May, barred the lawmakers from parading themselves as members of the House of Assembly following their defection from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to All Progressives Congress (APC).

The embattled lawmakers known to be loyalists of the immediate past Governor Nyesom Wike, after the High Court judgement headed to an appeal court in Abuja, to challenge the ruling, while three lawmakers loyal to the sitting Governor, Siminalayi Fubara have been running the affairs of the assembly

Lush Arena

Penpushing further reports that the Governor and his predecessor who is now a Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) had been at political loggerhead over the control of the political structure of the state

The Court of Appeal comprising three members delivering judgment on Thursday, held that the lower court lacked the jurisdiction to grant the exparte order, further held that Section 272(3) of the 1999 Constitution as amended gives the Federal High Court powers to determine whether the seat of a House of Assembly member has become vacant.

Penpushing also reports that similarly the upper court held that the Federal High Court has the exclusive jurisdiction to determine the vacancy of a House of Assembly seat, pointing out that Section 272 (3) of the Constitution automatically excludes all state high courts from having the jurisdiction, hence, ruled that the exparte order having been made without jurisdiction is null and void.

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