BREAKING: Court of Appeal overturns removal of Rivers Assembly Speaker and 24 lawmakers

Martin Amaewhule

The Court of Appeal in Abuja, Thursday, July 4, 2024, nullified the expulsion of Martin Amaewhule, the former speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, and 24 other lawmakers from the assembly

The appellate court held that the Rivers State High Court lacked the jurisdiction to grant the ex parte order barring the lawmakers from parading themselves as members of the state's House of Assembly

The court cited Section 272(3) of the 1999 Constitution, which gives the Federal High Court exclusive powers to determine whether the seat of a House of Assembly member has become vacant. The express mention of the Federal High Court in this section automatically excludes all state high courts from having the jurisdiction.

The appeal was filed by Amaewhule, a factional speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, and 24 others against Victor Oko-Jumbo, another factional speaker, and two others. The appellate court held that the ex parte order made without jurisdiction is null and void.

A three-man panel led by Justice Jimi Olukayode-Bada while delivering judgment in the suit, upheld the appeal filed by a factional speaker, Martin Amaewhule, and 24 others against the Speaker, Victor Oko-Jumbo and two others.

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