BREAKING: Court orders Rivers Assembly to perform its functions, restrains Gov Fubara from stopping its funds, removing Clerk, others

A Federal High Court in Abuja, has restrained the Governor of Rivers State, Siminalayi Fubara and others from preventing the State House of Assembly from carrying out its functions and businesses, describing the State House of Assembly as a “constitutional institution that needs to be preserved” and must continue to function.

The Court, which also restrained Governor Fubara from removing or transferring the Clerk and Deputy Clerk of the House further stopped the State Government from “withholding any amount standing to the credit of Rivers State House of Assembly in the Consolidated Revenue Fund of Rivers State including salaries and emoluments due and payable to the Speaker, Deputy Speaker, and other members of the 1st Plaintiff as well as the Clerk, Deputy Clerk and other members of staff of the House.”

Justice J.K Omotosho, who gave the order in suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/1613/2023, said that it was clear from the affidavit in support of the motion exparte that 25 out of 31 members of State House of Assembly were sitting and transacting business of the House.

The suit was filed by Chief Ferdinand Orbih (SAN) and M.A. Ebute (SAN) on behalf of the Rivers State House of Assembly and its Speaker, Rt. Hon. Martine Chike Amaewhule against the State Governor, Sim Fubara, Attorney General of the State, Commissioner of Finance, Accountant General and the Rivers State Civil Service Commission.

Other defendants are Inspector General of Police, National Assembly, Senate President, Deputy Senate President, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives and others.

Granting the order of interim injunction, the court said; “That the affidavit in support of Motion Exparte shows that more than 2/3 or 25 out of 31 members of Rivers State House of Assembly are sitting and transacting business.

“That the Rivers State House of Assembly is a constitutional institution that needs to be preserved pending the determination of the Motion on Notice dated and filed 29th November, 2023. 

“Consequently, the following orders are hereby made:

“An order of interim injunction restraining the 1st to 14th defendants by themselves or by their servants and/or agents from taking over the performance of the functions of Rivers State House of Assembly or in any manner howsoever assuming the role, functions or duties of the Rivers State House of Assembly pending the hearing of the motion on notice for interlocutory injunction dated and filed 29th November, 2023.

“An order of interim injunction restraining the 1st to 14th defendants by themselves or by their servants, agents or privies from howsoever withholding the funds of Rivers State House of Assembly or deal in any manner howsoever with the funds meant for the Rivers State House of Assembly pending the hearing of the motion on notice for interlocutory injunction dated and filed 29th November, 2023.

“An order of interim injunction restraining the 11th to 14th defendants by themselves or by their servants, agents or privies from howsoever taking over the control of appointment, removal, transfer or generally taking control of persons appointed into the office of the clerk, Deputy Clerk, or other members of staff of the 1st Plaintiff or in any manner interfering with the performance of the functions or duties of persons appointed into the said offices pending the hearing and determination of the Motion on Notice for interlocutory injunction dated and filed 29th November, 2023.

“An order of interim injunction restraining the 11th to 14th defendants by themselves or by their servants, agents and/or the executive arm of the Government of Rivers State, or collectively, from withholding any amount standing to the credit of Rivers State House of Assembly in the Consolidated Revenue Fund of Rivers State including salaries and emoluments due and payable to the Speaker, Deputy Speaker, and other members of the 1st Plaintiff as well as the Clerk, Deputy Clerk and other members of staff of the House or in any manner whatsoever denying the Rivers State House of Assembly of the due fund for the running of its affairs pending the hearing of the motion on notice for interlocutory injunction filed simultaneously with the motion exparte.”

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