Legal Nigeria

Rivers: Factional Speaker Amaewhule, Deputy risk jail over contempt of court

A Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt has issued contempt of Court Form 48 against the factional Speaker of Rivers House of Assembly, Martin Amaewhule, and his deputy, Dumle Maol over disobedience of its order made on 7th November, 2023.

The order was issued against the factional Speaker loyal to Nyesom Wike and his deputy, the Minister of Federal Capital Territory pursuant to an application filed by their rival, Ehie Edison, who is loyal to Governor Siminalayi Fubara.

In the suit number FHC/PH/CS/240/2023, filed by the Rivers State House of Assembly as the first plaintiff and Edison as the second plaintiff, the court also ordered the parties to stop taking any further steps concerning the subject matter of the suit before the court.

Ehie had alleged that the rival faction disobeyed a court order by holding a plenary on Monday, November 20, at the Assembly complex under alleged Police coverage and deliberated on several issues.

Consequently, the court entered Form 48 titled ‘Notice of Consequences of Disobedience of Order of Court’, dated November 22, 2023, and signed by the Registrar of the Federal High Court, Port Harcourt Judicial Division.

The notice issued in the case presided over by Justice Phoebe Ayua warned that the defendants would be liable to be committed to prison unless they obeyed the order of the Court and maintained the status quo.

Edison filed the process in court over the claim that he was elected by 26 of his colleagues as the new Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly.

He accused Amaewhule of invading the Rivers State House of Assembly and purportedly holding a sitting of the House in flagrant violation of the order of the court for parties to maintain the status quo in the leadership of the legislative chamber.