Rivers Crisis: Court Orders Fubara’s Loyalist, Ehie, To Preside Over Assembly Proceedings

A Rivers State High Court in Port Harcourt has ordered the factional Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Edison Ehie, to preside over the activities of the legislative arm of the state pending the determination of a motion before it.

Ehie leads the five-man faction of the Assembly loyal to Governor Siminalayi Fubara,

Justice M.W Danagogo gave the order on Tuesday, in an experte motion, suit no. PHC/3030/CS/2023 in which Rivers State House of Assembly is the first claimant and Edison Ehie, (Speaker, Rivers State House of Assembly) as second claimant; and Rt. Hon. Martin Amaewhule, as first defendant while Rt. Hon. Dumle Maol, is the second defendant.

In the process which was prepared by D.I Iboroma (SAN), and others, Edison asked the court to order Amaewhule and others to stop entering the state House of Assembly complex until the burnt hallowed chamber is fully renovated by the government.

Edison also asked the court to order that he lawfully takes over the speakership of the state assembly until the matter before its dispensed, praying that Amaewhule should be stopped from conducting himself as the Speaker of the House.

However, the court, in an interim order, granted the requests of the applicant, urging Amaewhule and others to stop using the Assembly premises following the directive of the Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, that the facility was under renovation.

Also contained in the order is the proviso that the second claimant, Edison, would pay the sum of N50,000,000.00 as damages if the application before the court turned out to be frivolous, but ordered the claimants to serve the interim order, the motion on notice already filed, the originating process and other processes in this suit on the defendants on or before December 13, 2023.

The court granted leave to the claimants to serve all the processes by substituted means by publication in two national newspapers or by posting at a conspicuous part of the last known address of the defendants and adjourned till December 21 for motion on notice.

The court, however, entered the following orders: “AN ORDER OF INTERIM INJUNCTION restraining the Defendants and the 2nd Claimant/Applicant either acting by themselves or through their agents, servants, privies, assigns or any person(s) acting in whatsoever manner and howsoever called or described, from further use of armed thugs accompanied by police personnel in riot gear to gain access to the Rivers State House of Assembly complex at Moscow Road, Port Harcourt, Rivers State which was burnt, destroyed, damaged and rendered uninhabitable as a result of the fire that engulfed the Assembly Complex on the 2nd day of October, 2023, contrary to the order of the executive Governor of Rivers State relocating the sitting of the 1st Claimant to a secure and more conducive venue to ensure that the activities and meetings of the House are not disrupted during the period of the renovation of the burnt building, pending the determination of the motion on notice already filed.

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