Rivers: ​Fubara wins, as Appeal Court strikes out suit seeking tenure extension for pro-Wike LG Chairmen

Rivers A'Court strikes out suit

The Port Harcourt Division of the Court of Appeal, yesterday, dismissed two appeals filed by former elected local government chairmen in Rivers State, loyal to the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Nyesom Wike, seeking the elongation of their tenure in office.

Rivers A'Court strikes out suit2

This is as two factions of the Rivers State House of Assembly loyal to Governor Siminalayi Fubara and Minister Wike held separate sittings at different locations in Port Harcourt, with pro-Wike lawmakers giving a seven-day ultimatum to the governor to represent the State’s 2024 Budget proposal for consideration.

The Appellate Court, during a virtual sitting, found the appeals, marked CA/ PH/137M/2024 and CA/PH/145M/2024, to be lacking in merit and consequently struck them out.

The appeals were filed by Hon. Enyiada Cookey-Gam and six others, challenging the decisions of the lower court regarding the elongation of tenure for the local government council chairmen, which elapsed since last month.

​The Court, while delivering its ruling, found the appeals to be without merit and consequently struck them out.

Meanwhile, the Victor Oko-Jumbo-led House of Assembly loyal to Governor Fubara, on Monday, sat to screen and confirm the nomination of Barrister Emmanuel Frank-Fubara as Commissioner-designate.

The name of Frank-Fubara, who hails from Abonnema, in Akuku-Toru local government area of the State, was submitted to the House by the governor.

On the other hand, the Martins Amaewhule-led House of Assembly, loyal to Wike, gave a seven-day ultimatum to the state governor to represent the 2024 Appropriation Bill before the House.

During its first legislative sitting of the second session of the 10th Assembly, the House deliberated on the actions and inactions of Fubara which they averred were in breach of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), extant laws and judgements of competent Courts of Law.

The House called the attention of the governor to the fact that he was yet to present the 2024 Appropriation Bill of the State to the duly-constituted Rivers State House of Assembly, in line with the provisions of Section 121 of the Constitution, and in compliance with the judgement of Justice Omotosho, of the Federal High Court. The legislators then resolved to give the governor a seven-day ultimatum from the date of the resolution to present the Appropriation Bill to the House.

The House also drew the attention of Fubara to his breach of Section 192(2) of the Constitution wherein he swore in purported members of the State Executive Council as Commissioners as well as a breach of Section 7 (1) of the Constitution and the Rivers State Local Government (Amendment) Law, 2023, wherein he again swore in certain unelected individuals to manage the affairs of the 23 local government areas in the state, in flagrant disobedience to the Constitution and judgement of Justice Omotosho of the Federal High Court.

Commenting, the factional Speaker, Martin Amaewhule, decried a situation where the governor in total disregard to the Constitution and judgements of Courts transacts legislative business with three suspended members of the Assembly, who parade themselves as House of Assembly of the State.

Amaewhule stated that the purported screening and confirmation of Commissioner nominees for appointment, local government caretaker committees and other approvals by the three persons he called impostors have been declared null and void by the recent Court of Appeal judgement, adding that the governor and his co-travellers were in contempt of the orders of the court.

He, therefore, called on Fubara to do the needful without further delay as these Constitutional breaches constitute gross misconduct and abuse of office. Earlier, the factional Leader of the House, Hon. Major Jack, had presented the judgement of the Court Appeal to the House.

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