Legal Nigeria

Ehie-led Rivers lawmakers demand probe of burning of Assembly Complex

The Rivers State House of Assembly led by Edison Ehie has passed a resolution calling on Governor Siminalayi Fubara to set up a Judicial Panel of Inquiry to investigate the burning of the hallowed chamber of the State House of Assembly.

This was a sequel to the motion presented by Hon. Victor Oko Jumbo, the member representing the Bonny constituency during the plenary that was presided over by the Speaker, Edision Ehie on Wednesday.

Ehie said the attack and subsequent burning of the Assembly complex was a dastardly act, a clear affront to democracy, and those behind it should be brought to justice.

The house also deliberated on the recent defection of 25 of its members to the All Progressives Congress (APC) dumping the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the platform on which they won the election to the house.

In his summation, Rt Hon. Ehie declared the seat of the 25 defected lawmakers vacant. He said their actions were in gross violation of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria as amended since there is no known crisis or divisions within the PDP, which they cited as a reason for their defection.

“The house will duly inform the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC of the vacancies in the Rivers State House of Assembly and the need to conduct fresh elections to fill the above vacancies within the time frame provided by law.

“The house, as it stands now is left with six legitimate and constitutionally recognised members and in line with the provisions of the 1999 constitution, precisely section 102, the house will effectively continue to discharge its responsibility of legislation, representation and oversight, notwithstanding vacancies in the membership of the house.”

At the plenary that took place in an alternative venue provided by Governor Fubara pending the completion of reconstruction work on the burnt assembly complex, the house elected Hon. Adolphus Orubienimigha, the member representing Opobo/Nkoro constituency, as the leader of the house.

The Leader of the House, Hon. Orubienimigha presented the State’s Medium Term Expenditure Framework for deliberation after it was seconded by Hon. Sokari Goodboy Sokari and approved unanimously.

Dr. Godsgift Gills West was also appointed as the substantive clerk of the house.

Our Correspondent reports that the press statement signed by Boniface Onyedi, SSA, to Governor Fubara, says 25 not 27 seats of members have been declared vacant contrary to earlier reports in the media.

There are unconfirmed speculations the two lawmakers who earlier decamped to APC have reneged. Those speculated are Linda S. Stewart representing Okrika constituency and Tonye Adoki representing Port Harcourt constituency 2.

At the time of filing this report, it has been difficult getting clarifications from the Lawmakers.

Photos Caption

(left-Right)Fractional Speaker Edison Ehie shaking hands with Governor Siminalayi Fubara after 2024 budget presentation and photos from sitting after by the House of Assembly).

credit: PM News