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Thursday, July 25, 2024

We’re Not Deterred, We’ll Continue To Deliver Good Governance,’ Fubara Assures Rivers Citizens Despite Appeal Court Judgement.

Rivers Governor Fubara reassured citizens that his administration remains committed to good governance despite recent court challenges and legal hurdles.

Following the Thursday’s Appeal Court ruling on the jurisdiction of Rivers State High Court to hear the matter on suit number PHC/1512/CS/2024, the State Governor, Siminalaye Fubara, on Friday, said there was no cause for alarm, insisting that the development would not affect his commitment to good governance.

The governor stated this while speaking with journalists after he inspected the extent of reconstruction work done at the Zonal Hospital project at Bori Town, headquarters of Khana Local Government Area.

Fubara made the remarks same day Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly loyal to him, Victor Oko-Jumbo, filed an appeal at the Supreme Court challenging the judgement of the Appeal Court on the jurisdiction of Rivers State High Court to hear the matter on suit number PHC/1512/CS/2024.

Speaking further on the court pronouncement on the State House of Assembly crisis, Fubara said there was no cause to worry, stressing that God has prepared him a table of blessings in the presence of his enemies.

He said: “I know that a lot of you will be wondering what is going on and all that. Government has its own challenges. If you go to the book of Psalm 23 verse 5, in the Bible, it said that God prepares a table before you; it can be before anybody.

“But there is an underlined word that should be noted there: it said ‘in the presence of your enemies’. So, it means that nothing comes easy.

“I want to assure every one of you and the good people of Rivers State, that we are not deterred. We have made our promises, we will continue to give you good governance, no matter how difficult it is.

“But, like I said before, the worst is over. We are moving on to ensure that we continue to provide what is needed for the development of our State.”

The governor reassured people of the State that his administration would not waver in its commitment to providing critical infrastructure required for the speedy development of the State.

The Governor was accompanied on the inspection tour by the State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Adaeze Oreh, the State Commissioner for Agriculture, Hon Victor Kii, others.

Commenting on the project, Fubara pointed to sectors like healthcare, education, and agriculture as top priority areas that his administration would not compromise attention, and would do everything possible to ensure optimal services can be accessed by the people.

Fubara explained that his administration did not meet any functional Zonal Hospital, stressing that because it wanted quality healthcare facilities for the people, funds were released about a month ago for the reconstruction and expansion of four zonal hospitals.

The Governor assured that when completed and put to use, the facilities would meet the healthcare needs of the people within the catchment areas, and address key issues in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and policy objectives of his administration.

Meanwhile, Oko-Jumbo, has filed an appeal at the Supreme Court challenging the judgement of the Appeal Court on the jurisdiction of Rivers State High Court to hear the matter on suit number PHC/1512/CS/2024.

Oko-Jumbo who confirmed this on Friday, at the sitting of the Assembly in Port Harcourt, described the ruling as a miscarriage of justice.

He expressed belief that “the Court of Appeal was in error when it held that the Rivers State High Court lacked the Jurisdiction to hear and determine SUIT NO. PHC/1512/CS/2024.”

Oko-Jumbo confirmed that the House has directed its legal team to urgently proceed to the Supreme Court to challenge the ruling by the Appeal Court.

The Speaker also averred that contrary to speculations, the Court of Appeal did not make declaration that Martin Amaewhule and 24 others did not defect from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressive Congress (APC).

Oko-Jumbo explained that neither did the Appeal Court also declare them as members of the Rivers State House of Assembly. He declared that he remains the authentic Speaker, defending that there cannot be two Houses of Assembly in Rivers State.

The Speaker reiterated that the seats of Rt Hon Martin Amaewhule and 24 other former lawmakers remain vacant as declared by the then Speaker, Edison Ehie, on December 13, 2023, following their defection from the PDP to the APC) on December 11, 2023.

“There cannot be two Houses of Assembly in Rivers State or indeed any State in Nigeria.

This House of Assembly, with me as the Speaker, is the only House of Assembly in Rivers State.

“As the whole world knows, on December 11, 2023, Martin Amaewhule and his 24 friends defected from the Peoples Democratic Party to the All Progressive Congress.

“On December 13, 2023, Rt. Hon. Edison Ehie, as the Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, declared the seats of Martin Amaewhule and 24 others vacant. That declaration by Rt. Hon. Edison Ehie has not been set aside by any court in Nigeria.”

Oko-Jumbo further explained that the legitimate members of the Assembly secured restraining order against Martin Amaewhule and the 24 others when they continued to parade as members of the RSHA despite their defection from the PDP to the APC and their seats declared vacant.

Reacting on the Appeal Court decision on CA/PH/198/2024, Oko-Jumbo stated: “Yesterday, July 4, 2024, the Court of Appeal, in its lead Judgement, allowed the Appeal by Martin Amaewhule and 24 others on the ground that the Rivers State High Court lacked the jurisdiction to hear and determine the case.

“Accordingly, the Court of Appeal struck out Suit No. PHC/1512/CS/2024 and nothing more.

The Court of Appeal did not make any declaration that Martin Amaewhule and 24 others did not defect from the PDP to APC.

“The Court of Appeal also did not make any declaration that Martin Amaewhule and 24 others are still members of the RSHA.

“Accordingly, we have instructed our lawyers and they have filed an appeal to the Supreme Court of Nigeria challenging the judgement of the Court of Appeal delivered on July 4, 2024.”

The Assembly led by Oko-Jumbo also called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to promptly conduct a bye-election to fill the vacant seats in the RSHA.

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