Rivers crisis: Oko-Jumbo, other Pro-Fubara lawmakers head to Supreme Court

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PORT HARCOURT — Hon. Victor Oko-Jumbo and fellow members of the Rivers State House of Assembly aligned with Governor Sir Siminialayi Fubara have initiated an appeal at the Supreme Court following a recent Court of Appeal decision overturning a High Court ruling on their legislative status.

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Speaking during a legislative session at a temporary facility in Port Harcourt on Friday, Oko-Jumbo clarified their stance, emphasizing their belief in the jurisdiction of the State High Court to handle the matter of legislative defection.

“We have filed an appeal to the Supreme Court challenging the judgment of the Court of Appeal,” Oko-Jumbo stated. “We maintain that the Court of Appeal erred in ruling that the State High Court lacked jurisdiction over Suit No. PHC/1512/CS/2024.”

Oko-Jumbo, asserting his position as the legitimate Speaker, reiterated the vacancy of seats held by Hon. Martin Amaewhule and 24 others who defected from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC) in December 2023. He underscored that their seats were declared vacant by then-Speaker Hon. Edison Ehie, a decision upheld by the legitimate members of the Assembly.

“In Rivers State, there is only one House of Assembly, and that is the one led by me as the Speaker,” Oko-Jumbo affirmed. “Despite the Appeal Court’s decision, it did not alter the fact that Amaewhule and his cohorts are no longer members of this Assembly.”

He further clarified, “Our appeal challenges the jurisdictional ruling of the Court of Appeal and seeks to uphold the legitimacy of our actions in declaring these seats vacant. Until a competent court says otherwise, they are not members of this Assembly.”

Oko-Jumbo concluded by calling on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct bye-elections promptly to fill the vacant seats, emphasizing the Assembly’s commitment to upholding constitutional processes and legislative integrity.

Gbenga Samson
Gbenga Samsonhttp://ThisDayLive.com
Samson Gbenga Salau [Editorial Board Adviser] Gbenga Samuel Salau is a professional journalist with over 17 years experience in journalism, he is a graduate of Communication and Language Arts, University of Ibadan. On completion of his youth service, he joined The Guardian as a freelance journalist and was later absorbed as a staff. While in the University, he was a campus journalist reporting for the Independence Hall and Faculty of Arts Press Clubs. As a campus journalist, he won the following awards; Independence Hall Press Best News writer; University of Ibadan Union of Campus Journalists’ Best News Reporter/Writer; First Runner-up, Reuben Abati Award for Investigative Journalism; Association of Faculty of Arts Students’ Press Best Reporter; University of Ibadan Union of Campus Journalists’ Best Political Writer; Winner, Reuben Abati Award for Investigative Journalism, and University of Ibadan Union of Campus Journalists’ Best Interviewer. He served the Association of Communication and Language Arts Students, as the Public Relation Officer, the same year he was appointed the News Editor of the Association of Faculty of Arts Students Press. The following session, he was made the General Editor, and a member of the 13-man University of Ibadan Students’ Union Transition Committee. As a reporter in The Guardian, in 2014, he won the Promasidor Quill Award Best Report on Nutrition and DAME Business Reporting category. In the 2015 edition of the Promasidor Quill Award, he won the best Report on Nutrition and Brand Advocate Categories, while in 2016, he won the NMMA Print Journalist of the Year, first runner-up Golden Pen Reporter of the Year and SERAs CSR Awards. Gbenga Salau loves traveling, reading, and listening to songs with good lyrics no matter the genre.

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