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Breaking: Appeal Court reinstates sacked Pro-Wike lawmakers in Rivers State

The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja has vacated the order that sacked 25 members of the Rivers State House of Assembly who defected to the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC.

The appellate court, in a unanimous decision by a three-man panel of Justices, on Thursday, held that the Rivers State High Court, which issued the order, lacked the requisite jurisdiction to do so.

It upheld the appeal that was lodged before it by the lawmakers who were led by the embattled Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Hon. Martin Amaewhule. It will be recalled that Justice Charles Wali of the Rivers State High Court had on May 10, issued an interim injunction that restrained the embattled lawmakers loyal to the immediate past Governor of the state and current Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Nyesom Wike, from parading themselves as members of the Assembly, having decamped from the political party that sponsored their elections.

The court order followed a suit that was filed by Hon. Victor Oko-Jumbo who subsequently emerged as the Speaker of the Assembly. The litigants, who are loyal to the incumbent governor of the state, Siminialayi Fubara, in their suit, contended that Amaewhule and the 24 other defected lawmakers ceased to be members of the Rivers State House of Assembly since December 13, 2023, when their seats were declared vacant.

While upholding the case of the plaintiffs, Justice Wali barred the pro-Wike lawmakers from accessing the Assembly complex or carrying out any legislative assignment in the name of the Rivers State House of Assembly.

However, dissatisfied with the verdict, Amaewhule and his colleagues approached the appellate court to set it aside. They argued that the state high court acted beyond its jurisdiction when it issued the restraining order against them.

In the appeal, marked: CA/PH/198/2024, the pro-Wike lawmakers urged the appellate court to stay the execution of the high court judgement.

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