• Tuesday, July 23, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

Court of Appeal overturns order barring pro-Wike lawmakers from Rivers assembly

APC-rivers-lawmakers-

The Court of Appeal in Abuja has overturned an order by the Rivers State High Court barring Martin Amaewhule and 24 other lawmakers from the Rivers State House of Assembly.

A three-member panel of the Appeal Court faulted the Rivers State High Court, saying it lacked the authority to remove the legislators.

They pointed to Section 272(3) of the Constitution, which gives the Federal High Court the sole power to decide if a House of Assembly seat is vacant.

The appeal court explained that the constitution specifically mentions the Federal High Court, which means state high courts have no say in this matter.

Read also: Bomb Scare: Fubara says detractors targeting state of emergency in Rivers

The appellate court held that the exparte order made without jurisdiction is null and void.

Amaewhule and 24 others are members of the assembly loyal to Nyesom Wike, the former governor of Rivers and current minister of the Federal Capital Territory.

The lawmakers were barred from the house following their defection from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The Rivers Assembly has been engulfed in crisis since October 2023. The turmoil stemmed from the rift between Wike and his successor, Governor Sim Fubara.