Legal Nigeria

APC to Fubara: ‘Don’t heat up the polity’

The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers has told Gov. Siminalayi Fubara to refrain from acts capable of escalating the political crisis rocking the state.

The state Caretaker Committee Chairman of the party, Tony Okocha, gave the charge at a news briefing in Port Harcourt.

Okocha was reacting to the ex parte order granted to the factional Speaker of the House of Assembly, Mr Ediso Ehie, restraining two PDP lawmakers, Martin Amaewhule and Dumle Maol, from disobeying the order relocating the conduct of the assembly’s “activities and meetings” to a more secure place.

Amaewhule and Maol still lay claim to the Speakership and Deputy Speakership of the house.

The ex parte order was granted by a Port Harcourt High Court, presided over by Justice M.W. Danagogo.

The order also restrained Amaewhule from “disrupting and interfering” with Ehie’s activities, pending the determination of the motion on notice.

The court also warned against the use of thugs and Police by Amaewhule to forcefully gain access to the premises of the State House of Assembly Complex.

The court ordered the relocation of the house “to a secure and more conducive environment to ensure that the activities and meetings of the house are not disrupted during the period of the renovation of the burnt building, pending the determination of the hearing of the motion already filed”.

Ehie had been conducting the activities of the house outside the assembly complex, after it was torched on the night of October 29.

But the APC chairman decried Danagogo’s order recognising Ehie as the speaker, when judgment was reserved for January 2024 on a suit Ehie filed seeking to be recognised as speaker.

He said that granting an ex parte order on the same case that judgment had been reserved was an abuse of court processes.

Okocha said that APC would not sit and watch the ex parte order executed, alleging that the order was made in clear violation of known principles of law and disobedience of the National Judicial Council (NJC) law.

According to him, the fear of the massive defection of 27 of the 31 PDP lawmakers to APC led to the procurement of an ex parte order to enable the governor to present his 2024 budget estimates to the assembly.

He wondered how the three remaining members of the House, plus Ehie, would legitimately receive the 2024 Appropriation Bill.

Okocha said that the party would be left with no option but to petition the NJC if the judge did not reverse himself, immediately.

He said that the state APC would not tolerate any intimidation and harassment of its new members in any form.

He justified the December 11 defection of the PDP members to APC on an “irreconcilable crisis in the PDP”, saying that the action was supported by a section of the country’s Constitution

credit: PM News