• Saturday, April 20, 2024
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Abuja’s court arrow hits Rivers N800bn budget law

Abuja’s court arrow hits Rivers N800bn budget law

The noose seems to be tightening closer the neck of the embattled governor of Rivers State. Sim Fubara has remained calm but his opponents seem to be pressing from all fronts to one outcome. Now, an Abuja High Court seems to have pierced the heart of the matter, the Rivers State N800Bn 2024 budget. A judge has ruled nullifying the budget law. The judge also awarded other far-reaching orders that seem to tie the hands of the governor in the fight against his godfather and the 27 lawmakers in his state.

An amazing angle is that the justice, James Omotosho, admitted that the governor withdrew his team challenging the case. Observers are already wondering of the governor has not fallen into an ambush. The president, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, had directed that all cases in court be withdrawn as part of the Aso Rock peace agreement all parties signed. Could it be on that ground that Fubara withdrew his team in the matter, but the judge has counted that against the governor, saying it meant the governor had admitted all the claims by the Nyesom Wike-backed speaker and his group.

Now, with the Rivers State House of Assembly fully in Wike’s control, with the Wike cabinet members having been screened to return to the state executive council, with the Fubara-backed speaker, Edison Ehie, suddenly resigning, are the grounds being prepared for a shock ruling by the Supreme Court coming Friday, January 26, 2024, in the case that would determine if Fubara remains as governor or not. It is a case filed by Tonye Cole, APC guber candidate who lost to then Wike-backed Fubara of the PDP. Cole is contending that Fabara did not resign properly as required by law before contesting for governorship. Wike has all the documents that can decide things, just as he had when he got Felix Obuah to unseat G.U Ake in 2012 to kickstart the overthrow of Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi.

The ruling from Abuja from a high court sounded like an appeal judgment against a previous judgment from a high court in Port Harcourt which gave authority to Ehie to sit, the budget, and order to elect now lawmakers because, as the court held, those who defected had abdicated their seats. Now, a court of equal jurisdiction has restored all the powers of the defected lawmakers, the speaker, etc, and hit hard at Fubara and his backers.

The question on many lips is whether the Aso Rock Agreement is still being obeyed by parties or not. Fubara has had a meeting again in Aso Rock with President Tinubu without any party saying a word. So, are things going according Fubara, according to Wike, or according Tinubu? Is Fubara’s celebrated silence doing him good; is it working for him?

People in the state are anxiously waiting.