High court bars Rivers lawmakers led by Martins Amaewhule from sitting, issuing interlocutory injunction

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the High Court in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, has put a temporary halt on the activities of a group of lawmakers, led by Speaker Martins Amaewhule.

The court has prohibited them from continuing their duties and representing themselves as members of the state House of Assembly.

Justice C.N. Wali, presiding over the case, issued the order in response to a lawsuit brought forward by lawmakers loyal to Governor Siminilayi Fubara. The group, led by Speaker Victor Oko-Jumbo and including Sokari Goodboy and Orubienimigha Timothy, named 25 lawmakers, the Rivers Governor, the Attorney-General, and the state’s Chief Judge as defendants in the suit.

Previously, on May 10th, the court had issued a similar order, preventing the governor, the attorney-general, and the Chief Judge from associating with the implicated lawmakers. The most recent order, issued on May 29th, forbids the lawmakers from identifying themselves as members of the Rivers State House of Assembly and from convening or conducting meetings at the House of Assembly Quarters’ Auditorium or any other venue.

The order specifically states: “An interlocutory injunction is hereby granted, restraining the first to twenty-fifth defendants from presenting themselves as members of the Rivers State House of Assembly and/or from meeting/convening at the House of Assembly Quarters’ Auditorium located off Aba Road, Port Harcourt, or any other location to carry out the legislative business of the Rivers State House of Assembly. Their legislative seats have been declared vacant pending the hearing and determination of the main lawsuit. An interlocutory injunction is also issued, restraining the twenty-sixth to twenty-eighth defendants from interacting with the first to twenty-fifth defendants in their alleged capacities as members of the Rivers State House of Assembly. Their legislative seats have been declared vacant effective from December 13th, 2023, pending the hearing and determination of the main lawsuit.”

The case is set to be mentioned again on July 1st, 2024.

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