Rivers Govt Denies Court Ruling Affirming Amaewhule, Others as PDP Members

Blessing Ibunge in Port Harcourt

The Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice in Rivers State, Mr Dagogo Iboroma (a Senior Advocate of Nigeria), has rejected the news going round that a State High Court in Port Harcourt, affirmed that Martin Amaewhule and 26 other lawmakers are members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Earlier, yesterday, there was a trending report that the court presided by Justice Okogbule Gbasam of the State High Court, had held that the claimant in the said matter failed to prove that Amaewhule and 26 other lawmakers, had defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The news also stated that Justice Gbasam further allegedly held that the Rivers State government was bound to obey all laws passed by the Assembly, as they are still members of the PDP hence, their names are still in the PDP’s membership register as provided by the party.

Reacting to the alleged court ruling, the State Commissioner for Justice, Iboroma, said there was no declaration to the effect that Amaewhule and 26 others were members of PDP and the Rivers State House of Assembly, stressing that the information was meant to deceive the public.

The Rivers State Attorney-General, therefore, urged members of the public to disregard such news, emphasising that the entirety of the news was not true and had no basis in law.

Speaking with journalists in Port Harcourt, yesterday, the State Attorney-General said, as the 3rd defendant in the matter registered in Suit No. DHC/20/CS/2024, his attention was drawn to a recent judgment of the court to that effect.

Iboroma, explained that the suit in question, did not seek to declare the seats of Amaewhule and 26 others in Rivers State House of Assembly vacant.

According to him: “The suit of the claimants was struck out for want of locus standi and jurisdiction and also for being an abuse of court process which robbed the trial court of jurisdiction to adjudicate on the matter.

“As you all know, Martins Amaewhule and 26 others defected from the PDP to the All Progressives Congress on the 11th Day of December, 2023, and stated that much in affidavit evidence deposed to by Martins Amaewhule for himself and on behalf of 26 others in Suit No. FHC/ABJ/1681/CS/2023 before Hon. Justice Donatus Okorowo of the Federal High Court, Abuja Division. The Suit is still pending in court.”

Explaining further, Iboroma said: “By Section 272(3) of the 1999 Constitution as amended, it is only the Federal High Court that can determine whether Martins Amaewhule and 26 others are still members of Peoples Democratic Party and also members of the Rivers State House of Assembly. This much was held by the trial court.”

He recalled that, “there is a subsisting order of interlocutory injunction in Suit No. PHC/1512/CS/2024, restraining Martins Amaewhule and his co-travellers from further parading or presenting themselves as lawmakers in Rivers State pending the determination of the substantive suit, which has not been appealed against till date.”

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