Fubara lacks power To Decide Sitting Venue for Rivers Assembly – Falana 

Governor Similanayi Fubara lacks the constitutional powers to decide the sitting venue of Rivers State House of Assembly (RSHA) lawmakers, says rights activist Femi Falana.

The Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) stated this in reaction to last year’s executive order of Governor Fubara but was made public recently after a state high court prohibited a faction of the RSHA from parading themselves as lawmakers.

The executive order dated December 2023 relocated the sitting of the legislature to the government house, citing the fire incident that occured in RSHA complex in October, making it uninhabitable.

“I would like to assume that the governor issued that executive order before the intervention of the High Court in Rivers State,” Mr Falana said on Sunday while appearing on Channels TV. “The house is independent of the executive. So the governor cannot tell the house where to sit.”

Buttressing his point further, the activist referenced an impeachment of a governor done outside the premises of the House of Assembly which was nullified by the Supreme Court.

“This was very clear in the Oyo State case which led to the impeachment of Governor Ladoja whereby under the influence of the late Chief Lamidi Adedibu, the House was alleged to have sat in a hotel and the Supreme Court made that point abundantly clear that an impeachment carried out in a hotel deviates clearly from the Constitution,” he said.

“So any sitting of the House outside the premise of the House of Assembly complex will not be known to law; will not be recognized by law.”

He said only properly constituted assembly members are empowered to decide elsewhere to sit outside the assembly complex.

“There is a separation of powers under the Constitution and each organ of the government must recognise its own powers and limitations,” he said.

The human rights lawyer equally said the lawmakers of the Rivers State House of Assembly who defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressive Congress (APC) have by the virtue of the actions lost their seats in the legislature.

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