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Speakership tussle: Legal fireworks may continue as Appeal Court rules in favour of Amaewhule

Written by silvernewsng

The Appeal Court has at last ruled in favour of the Nyesom Wike-backed lawmakers but legal fireworks are being suggested to continue.
The Appeal Court ruled that the state high court had no jurisdiction on the matter and quashed its rulings.

But a statement credited to Hon Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere, Spokesperson of the G-60 Federal Opposition Lawmakers Coalition, said the pro-Wike lawmakers remain sacked, their seats remain vacant as Appeal Court didn’t decide on the validity of their decampment nor the declaration of their seats vacant. “The Appeal Court focused on declaring that the Federal High Court is the only court with jurisdiction to decide on the legality or illegality of decampment thereby ruling against Rivers High Court proceedings. The legal fireworks continue.”

The much-awaited Appeal Court ruling on who is the right speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly took place in Port Harcourt Thursday, July 4, 2024, with victory going to Amaewhule and his allegedly defected colleagues.
The three-judge panel made up of Jimi Olukayode Bada, Hamma Akawu Barka, and Balkisu Bello Aliyu, all agreed that the state high court that declared the speaker invalid had no right but a federal high court.

In the appeal court case No: CA/PH/198/2024, the justices agreed that it had jurisdiction to entertain the matter, but ruled that only the Federal High Court and no other court has the right and powers with the jurisdiction to determine cases of tenures and vacancies of House of Assembly, Governors, and President and not the State High Courts.

“From the foregoing, it is of the view of the learned judges that there was no contention on the speakership of Rt. Hon. Martins Amaewule from the records, and therefore, remains the speaker”, they further ruled.
Whereas lawyers loyal to the speaker and FCT Minister, Wike, are jubilating, saying the actions by Gov Sim Fubara-backed speaker, Victor Oko-Jumbo, are null and void, the one loyal to Fubara say they have grounds for appeal and that there are strong cases at the Federal High Court on the matter.
They also say the key matter on membership of the defected lawmakers has not been decided, saying the road is still far.


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