Symbol of Justice
A member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Ambassador Dan Harry, has asked a Federal High Court in Abuja to restrain the House of Representatives from taking over, or performing the functions of the Rivers State House of Assembly.
The House, the Speaker, Deputy Speaker and the Attorney-General of the Federation were listed as defendants in the suit filed by the plaintiff’s counsel, Chukwuma Nwachukwu.
The plaintiff asked the court to declare that the House cannot take over the functions of the Assembly without the occurrence of the conditions set out in section 11(4), (5) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and complying strictly with same.
The plaintiff also asked the court to declare as unlawful, illegal and void, the taking over of the functions of the assembly by the House, following its resolution of July 10.
He further asked the court for an “order of perpetual injunction restraining the defendants from further taking over or performing the functions of the Assembly except in strict compliance with the provisions of the 1999 Constitution, as amended.”
The plaintiff asked the court to determine whether the National Assembly, particularly the House is entitled to take over the functions of the Assembly without complying with the provisions of section 11 of the 1999 Constitution, and also, whether the House was not amenable to a restraining order by way of an injunction restraining them from taking over the functions of the Assembly.
In an affidavit in support of the originating summons, the plaintiff said the take-over of the functions of the Assembly by the House was hasty, noting that the state’s lawmakers are still able to meet and perform their constitutional functions.
He said: “I know for a fact that the Rivers State House of Assembly presided over by Hon. Otelemaba Amachree held its sitting in its chambers on July 9, whereby it considered and duly passed the 2013 supplementary appropriation bill presented to it by the Deputy Governor of Rivers State, Hon. Tele Ikuru, and thereafter, the said Assembly adjourned its proceedings sine die (indefinitely)."
“I know for a fact that, consequent upon its aforesaid sitting, the Rivers State House of Assembly cannot be said to be incapable of meeting, sitting or performing its legislative duties.”
No date has been fixed.