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Court to hear suit demanding pro-Wike lawmakers’ sacking

The Federal High Court in Port Harcourt has fixed March 18, 2024, to hear a suit seeking to sack the 27 members of the who defected from the Peoples Democratic Party to the All Progressives Congress.

The 27 lawmakers, led by the Speaker, Martin Amaewhule, are loyal to immediate-past Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike.

They defected from the PDP to the APC at the height of the political crisis between Wike and the incumbent governor, Siminalayi Fubara.

The suit seeking to sack them was filed by the Rivers State Civil Society Organisations.

The plaintiff is contending that by the provisions of  Section 109 of the 1999 Constitution, the lawmakers must lose their seats in the Assembly having abandoned the party on which they were elected into the legislature.

The suit, which was scheduled to come up on Monday, was adjourned as the presiding Judge, Justice  Stephen Dalyop Pam, was said to be away for a judges’ conference.

The matter was, therefore, adjourned till March 18.

In a related development, the Court of Appeal, Port Harcourt Division, on Monday granted a request by some Rivers elders, led by Chief Arabs Sara-Igbe and nine others, to serve the leader of the pro-Wike lawmakers’ court papers through substituted means.

The Rivers elders are praying the court to nullify the resolutions entered into by the Rivers State Governor, Fubara, Wike, and the lawyers at a December meeting in Abuja presided over by President Bola Tinubu.

The Rivers elders are contending that Tinubu’s intervention in the crisis between Wike and Fubara was constitutional and are asking the court to set aside the resolution made at the meeting.

As part of the resolution to resolve the political crisis between Wike and Fubara, Fubara was asked to recognise and present the 2024 budget to the pro-Wike lawmakers; he was also asked to reabsorb nine pro-Wike commissioners who resigned their appointment in the heat of the crisis.

The Rivers elders were, however, opposed to the resolutions, contending that they were skewed in favour of Wike against Fubara.

They subsequently approached the Rivers State High Court, asking it to nullify the resolutions.

However, in a January 23, 2024 judgment, Justice Chiwendu Nworgu dismissed the suit for lack of jurisdiction.

Displeased, the plaintiffs proceeded on appeal.

A three-man panel of the Court of Appeal, led by Justice Oluwayemisi Daudu, on Monday, granted an application for an accelerated hearing of the matter and adjourned till April 8, 2024.


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