Rivers Crisis: Ibani Watchdog Alleges Abuse Of Court Process

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….it is obvious from all indications that the judge was not informed of a pending order.

Our attention has been drawn to a court order for interim injunction made or granted on the 30th day of November, 2023, which among other things, restrained the National Assembly from taking over the legislative functions of the Rivers State House of Assembly and empowering a faction of the Rivers State House of Assembly led by Rt. Hon. Martin Chike Amaewhule is to start sitting in the performance of their legislative functions pending the hearing and determination of a motion on notice also filed by Rt. Hon. Amaehule’s faction of the State House of Assembly.

It may interest you to know that the above-said interim order was obtained at the Federal High Court, Abuja Judicial Division.

However, recall that on the 9th day of November 2023, the Federal High Court, Port Harcourt Judicial Division made an order stopping the two factions of the Rivers State House of Assembly from siting, pending the determination of a motion on notice also pending before the said court. There is also another suit pending before the Federal High Court, Port Harcourt Judicial Division which one of the prayers is an order of the court directing the National Assembly to take over the legislative functions of the Rivers State House of Assembly since the House has been fractionalized and unable to perform their legislative functions, especially under Order of Court from the Federal High Court, Port Harcourt Judicial Division, made on the 9th of November, 2023.

While the order of the court restraining both factions of the Rivers State House from performing any legislative functions is still pending, the faction led by Rt. Hon. M.C. Amaewhule hurried to Abuja to secure another order from the same Federal High Court empowering his faction of the House of Assembly to start sitting for legislative business.

This is an affront to the Rule of Law and their action amounts to disobedience of court order. Rt. Hon. M.C. Amaewhule and his faction cannot go to the same court in another division to do what he was restrained from doing whose order has long been served on his faction of the State House of Assembly. It is an obvious abuse of the court process.

It is very obvious from all indications that the judge who gave the order that came from the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court was not informed of the pending order from the same Federal High Court, Port Harcourt Judicial Division, restraining both factions from sitting for any legislative function.

As far as we know, the first in time prevails whenever two equities conflict, which means that the order which Rt. Hon. M.C. Amaewhule secured in Abuja based on which his faction is now sitting goes to no effect. Their action is an abuse of the court process.

It is therefore very appalling that a group of persons who call themselves lawmakers would be engaging in disobedience of a court order and obtaining a black market court order in abuse of the rule of law and process of the court.

Finally, all legislative activities allegedly carried on or being purportedly carried on by Rt. Hon. M.C. Amaewhule’s faction of the State House of Assembly is and remains null and void, and of no effect, pursuant to the extant order of the court on the 9th of November, 2023, emanating from the Federal High Court, Port Harcourt Judicial Division.

Signed:
Opuwaribo Jack Tolofari,
Publicity Secretary.

8/12/2023.

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