Appeal Court Refuses To Sack Pro-Wike Lawmakers In Rivers

By Hadiza Suleman

The Appeal Court, Abuja division, Thursday, nullified the expulsion of a former speaker of the Rivers House of Assembly, Mr Martin Amaewhule, and 24 other lawmakers from the Assembly.

Recall that the Rivers State High Court in Port Harcourt, in May, barred the lawmakers from parading themselves as members of the state House of Assembly after their defection from the PDP to the APC.

The hitherto sacked lawmakers are pro-former Governor Nyesom Wike. Wike lost love with Governor Siminalayi Fubara over the control of the political structure in the oil-rich state, hence the ensuing political fights.

Three lawmakers loyal to Mr Fubara have been running the affairs of the Rivers State Assembly since the court barred their colleagues from parading themselves as lawmakers.

A three-member panel of the Court of Appeal held that the lower court lacked the jurisdiction to grant the exparte order.

According to the Appeal Court, Section 272(3) of the 1999 Constitution as amended gives the Federal High Court powers to determine whether the seat of a House of Assembly member has become vacant.

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