• Sunday, May 19, 2024
businessday logo


Rivers new factional Speaker nullifies all laws made by defected lawmakers

Oko-Kbo new Rivers speaker

All laws made and actions taken by the defected lawmakers in the Rivers State House of Assembly (RSHA) have been declared null and void, and of no effect.

The nullification was declared today, Wednesday, May 8, 2024, by the new speaker who emerged from the ones that did not defect.

The new speaker is Victor Oko-Jumbo, member representing Bonny State Constituency, to head the 10th Rivers State House of Assembly.

In his acceptance speech, Oko-Jumbo said he has taken over from the former (factional) speaker (Edison O. Ehie) who resigned to become Chief of Staff to Governor Sim Fubara.

Speaking on the floor of the House, Oko-Jumbo said: “This is in line with Section 92(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (CFRN 1999) as Amended.

“You will agree with me that after the House last sat on the 13th of December, 2023, and adjourned sine dine, there has been an avalanche of legislative rascality perpetrated by the 25 former members of the 10th Rivers State House of Assembly, led by the former Speaker, Martin Chike Amaewhule.

Read also: Rivers crisis: Fireworks begin as hidden fists appear

“These former members, being fully aware of the provisions of Section 109(1)(g) of the CFRN 1999, defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Party (APC) on the 11th of December, 2023.

“Consequently, the Ehie-led Assembly, on the 13th of December, 2023, wrote to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), declaring the seats of the 25 lawmakers vacant in line with Section 109(1)(g) and (2) of the CFRN 1999.”

He said there were a plethora of cases pending in our courts further to the defection of the former lawmakers.”

Oko-Jumbo emphasised: “All laws, plenary sessions and actions taken by the illegal House members are hereby declared void and a nullity in the eyes of the law by virtue of the judgment of Lord Denning in the celebrated case of MacFoy v UAC (1961) 3 All ER 1169.”

He quoted Lord Denning to argue that nothing can be put on what is not there. He also quoted him to show that what is wrong does not need a court to pronounce it so.

“It is automatically null and void without more ado, though it is sometimes more convenient to have the court declare it to be so.”

The new speaker called on the Executive arm, the Judiciary, and the general public to disregard every law purportedly enacted by the illegal Assembly members because they all amount to nothing but an exercise in futility.

Read also: Impeachment Calls: PDP accuses APC of stoking crises in Rivers State

He said: “Furthermore, this House would want to most respectfully urge and call on His Excellency, the Governor of Rivers State, Siminalayi Fubara, to desist forthwith from further dealings with the 25 former lawmakers, in whatever guise.

“Those members are merely floating and do not have any landing ground or anywhere to berth their ship since their defection to the All Progressives Congress on the 11th of December, 2023.

“This House is the legally and constitutionally recognised House of Assembly by virtue of the defection of the other members, and is ready to receive correspondences from and work with His Excellency, the Governor of Rivers State, Sir Siminalayi Fubara. Distinguished colleagues, let me thank you once again.

“I know I can count on your unalloyed and unwavering support as we work with His Excellency, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, in moving our dear Rivers State forward in promoting the progress and welfare of the State.”

He stated further: “We will sit again and communicate our proceedings to the public and make sure that we are doing what we ought to do to ensure there is transparency and clarity of leadership of the 10th Legislative Assembly.”

Also speaking, the newly elected Leader of the House, Sokari Goodboy Sokari, said: “We will work in line with set goals to achieve synergy with the Executive.”

He warned Fubara against having any dealing with the defected lawmakers or face impeachment proceedings.

Curiously, the original mace which was missing all this while emerged to escort the new speaker by the Sergeant-at-Arms, David Wariboko.