Victor Oko-Jumbo emerges new Rivers speaker amidst political turmoil

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In a dramatic turn of events, Victor Oko-Jumbo, the lawmaker representing Bonny Local Government Area State Constituency, emerged as the factional speaker of Rivers State Assembly yesterday.

This development unfolded during a sitting in Port Harcourt, where Oko-Jumbo was chosen by three assembly members loyal to Governor Sim Fubara.

Oko-Jumbo’s ascension to the speakership reportedly followed the resignation of Edison Ehie, who now serves as the Chief of Staff to the state government. It’s anticipated that Governor Fubara will recognize Oko-Jumbo as the legitimate speaker.

According to a statement by Dr. G. M. Gillis-West, the Clerk of the 10th Assembly, Oko-Jumbo was elected in line with the Standing Order of the House during a plenary session held at 10 am.

In his acceptance speech, Oko-Jumbo expressed gratitude to his fellow members for electing him as the new Speaker following Ehie’s resignation.

Addressing the House, Oko-Jumbo criticized the actions of former assembly members led by Martin Chike Amaewhule, highlighting their defection from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Party (APC) in December 2023. He emphasized that the activities of these former members, including legislative sessions and actions, are deemed null and void in the eyes of the law.

Citing the judgment of Lord Denning in the MacFoy v UAC case, Oko-Jumbo declared that all proceedings based on the activities of the former lawmakers are invalid.

He called upon the Executive, Judiciary, and the public to disregard any laws enacted by the illegal assembly members, asserting that they lack legitimacy.

Following the session, Oko-Jumbo reaffirmed his commitment to his constitutional duties and pledged to work for the growth and development of Rivers State and its people.

Additionally, Hon. Sokari Goodboy Sokari, the newly elected Leader of the House, emphasized the importance of collaboration with the Executive to achieve set goals. He warned against any dealings between the Governor and the former members, hinting at potential impeachment proceedings if such interactions occur.

The emergence of Oko-Jumbo as the factional speaker signals further tensions within the political landscape of Rivers State. Despite confirmation from an anonymous government source, the legitimacy of Oko-Jumbo’s speakership remains a subject of contention amidst the ongoing power struggle.

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