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Court of Appeal Upholds Removal of Amaewhule, 26 Rivers State Assembly Members

The Appeal Court ruled that reversing the High Court’s judgment would amount to “pre-judging” the current appeal before it.

The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja has refused to reverse the removal of Martin Amaewhule and 26 others as members of the Rivers State House of Assembly.

In a ruling Friday, the Appellate Court said giving a verdict reversing the judgment of the Rivers State High Court which on May 10 declared their seats vacant will amount to “pre-judging” the appeal currently before it.

Delivering the ruling which was done virtually, the three-member panel also fixed June 20 for the hearing of the appeal by Amaewhule and others which is about wanting to get back their lost seats as members of the State House of Assembly.

The Justices thereby urged parties in the matter to cease all form of hostilities and “maintain present status quo” until the matter is heard and decided. This further means the seats of Amaewhule and the 26 remains vacant until decided by the Appeal Court.

The Court also stopped the State High Court from hearing the case any further as it’s now on appeal, with all the Court documents required deemed as properly transmitted. 

The Rivers State High Court had in the month of May stopped Martin Amaewhule from parading himself as Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly. The Court declared his seat and those of 26 other members of the House vacant for defecting to the All Progressives Congress from the PDP.

Charles Wali, the judge of the Court, gave that verdict as a ruling on a motion ex parte brought by the new speaker of the House, Victor Jumbo and two others. They asked the Court to give an order stopping those who defected from the PDP as having lost their seats.

The Judge of the Rivers State High Court also stopped Amaewhule and the 26 from parading themselves as members of the State Assembly.

They were also stopped from sitting or meeting at the Auditorium of the House of Assembly Quarters or any other place whatsoever to carry out legislative business of the Rivers State House of Assembly. This order remains until the case is decided by the Court.

Godfrey Eshiemoghie

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