Rivers Assembly resumes sitting in govt house

The 10th Rivers State House of Assembly has moved its sittings to a new complex within the Government House, Port Harcourt.

The lawmakers led by Rt. Hon. Edison Ehie, while the demolition was ongoing, were seen making their way into the Rivers State Government House.

This was following the demolition work on the Assembly building on Moscow Road, Port Harcourt.

It would be recalled that a State High Court holden in Port Harcourt, Tuesday, had in an order allowed Edison to remain the Speaker of the Assembly until the matter before this court is dispensed.

It was gathered that the house, on the directive of the state governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, relocated its sittings to a new place provided by the governor.

The lawmakers in its first sitting elected Hon. Adolphus T. Orubienimigha as the new majority leader of the assembly.

As of the time of this report, the state House of Assembly, led by the legally recognized speaker and government of Rivers State, Rt. Hon. Barr Ehie Edison, and other members, are already sitting and debating bills in the interest of Rivers people.

Court orders Edison to oversee proceedings

Meanwhile, a Rivers State High Court sitting in Port Harcourt has ordered the factional Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Edison Ehie, to preside over the activities of the legislative arm of the state pending the determination of a motion before it.

Justice M.W. Danagogo gave the order yesterday while ruling on an experte motion filed by the Rivers State House of Assembly. Edison Ehie. Martin Amaewhule and Dumle Maol are listed as 1st and 2nd defendants in the suit, respectively.

Part of Edison’s prayers before the court include an order mandating Amaewhule and others to stop entering the state assembly complex until the burnt hallowed chamber is fully renovated by the government.

Edison also wants the court to order that he lawfully takes over the speakership of the state assembly until the matter is dispensed, praying that Amaewhule should be stopped from conducting himself as the Speaker of the House.

However, the court, in an interim order, granted the requests of the applicant, urging Amaewhule and others to stop using the Assembly premises following the directive of Governor Siminalayi Fubara that the facility was still under renovation.

The court, however, added a clause that Edison would pay N50 million as damages if the application before the court turned out to be frivolous.

It further ordered the claimants to serve the interim order, motion on notice already filed, originating process, and other processes in the suit on the defendants on or before December 13, 2023.

The court also granted leave to the claimants to serve all the processes by substituted means through publication in two national newspapers or by posting at a conspicuous part of the last known address of the defendants, and adjourned till December 21 for hearing of the motion on notice.

Meanwhile, the Rivers State chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC, has called on Justice Danagogo to reverse the order that he granted, giving Edison and his members access to the House of Assembly complex.

APC said the ex parte order granted by the state High Court amounted to an act of impunity, which recognises Edison as the authentic speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly.

Speaking at a press conference yesterday in Port Harcourt shortly after the court order, chairman of APC in the state, Chief Tony Okocha, described the order as “a fragrant abuse of court process.”

According to him, “We use this medium to send notice in advance to the learned judge that the APC leaders will not sit and watch the ‘Jankara’ exparte order in clear violation of principles of law in fragrance disobedience to the NJC. We shall be left with no option to petition the NJC if the judge does not reverse himself immediately.”


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