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Orji: Amaewhule-Led Faction Lacks the Right To Serve Fubara Impeachment Notice, They’re Not Rivers Assembly Members

Darlington Orji has criticised the Amaewhule faction for being called “honourable” House members while engaging in “dishonourable” behaviour.

The Caretaker Chairman of Ikwerre Local Government Area in Rivers State, Darlington Orji, has said that the Martin-Amaewhule led faction of the Rivers State House of Assembly does not have the jurisdiction to serve an impeachment notice to Rivers State Governor Siminalayi Fubara as they are not recognised as members of the State House of Assembly.

Orji said this in an interview with ARISE NEWS on Tuesday where he discussed the ultimatum that the Martin Amaewhule-led House of Assembly leadership gave to Fubara to re-present the 2024 appropriation bill before the House.

The LGA Chairman said, “The Martin-led administration lacks the locus to serve impeachment notice on the governor. As at today, they are not members of Rivers State House of Assembly by their own, for me, by the troubles they caused themselves. So, they cannot serve impeachment notice on the governor, and the Rivers people are awaiting that to happen, and we are going to resist it. For us, what is important is that the governor is concentrating on building Rivers State and bringing up dividends of democracy.

“I have a right to go to court to say, please, the Chief Judge of Rivers State, don’t recognise these people. As long as we are concerned, they are not known to law until their status is pronounced by the Supreme Court, then we will know whether they are members of Rivers State House of Assembly. What is happening there is that a group of people can come together and issue out any statement. They are not members, and until their status is being cleared, the Appeal Court never said they are members of the Rivers State House of Assembly, the Appeal Court said that the lower court that gave that order lacks the jurisdiction to do that.

“But remember, the constitution is very clear who has the mandatory power to declare their seat vacant- it was the speaker. And at that time, the speaker was Right Honourable Edison Ehie, who declared their seats vacant and wrote to INEC. If not for the politics that we are playing, by now we should be talking about bye-election in Rivers state, and not to be talking about whether they are members or not. They caused this by themselves, it’s a political mistake, and of course, their leader has accepted that it’s a political mistake. Why not, if they think they are popular, if they feel that Rivers people love them, represent yourself to the people so that we will see and test that your popularity.”

Orji then addressed the decision of the Rivers Court of Appeal to reverse Amaewhule and 24 others’ expulsion from the Rivers House of Assembly saying, “There are too many legs to the issue in Rivers state, there are too many legs. So it depends on your understanding about it. The judgement that was given yesterday, or the order that was given yesterday by the state High Court was reaffirming their position earlier, who says that the Chief Judge of Rivers state must not see these young men, these Committee of Friends men that are parading themselves as members of Rivers State House of Assembly until such matters are being determined.

“Now, in the issue of the Appeal Court that says that the lower court has no jurisdiction to hear that matter, that’s why I told you that there are several issues that are on board, they’re not the same matter.

“Now, what is happening in Rivers State is that a group of young men that we campaigned for- like I told you, I was the PRO of PDP at the time, during the campaign period of the election that brought in Martins Amaewhule, and I refer to them as my friends. And they were elected under PDP, and of course, I know that your station carried it about their defection and all of that. And these are men that say they are honourable members.

“You know, I begin to wonder when people refer to them as honourable members, and they are doing dishonourable things. They came out, they had read on the floor of the House about their defection, Martins Amaewhule read for himself and on behalf of his colleague. And section 109 1 (g) is very clear that when you defer when there are no issues in your party, of course you automatically lose your seat. And they made reference that there are issues in the National Secretary of our party as at then, and PDP came out to say correspondences were still coming out from the National Secretariat, we have never had two corresponders as regards the office of the secretary.

“So, the position of the Court of Appeal yesterday did not reinstate them as members of Rivers State House of Assembly. Don’t forget that there is a judgement that barred them to parade themselves as members of Rivers State House of Assembly. That’s why I’m telling you that there are too many legs to this matter, but by the special grace of God, it will be sorted out at the Appellate Court.”

When asked what he believed will be the best way forward regarding Rivers State’s continuous crisis, he said, “The way forward is what the former governor Nyesom Wike has told Rivers people. What did he tell Rivers people? He told Rivers people over time that Abuja politicians should allow Rivers people to govern themselves, and that any person who influences Rivers State from Abuja will face the wrath of God. That was what he professed, and I believe in that. So, we are saying that the way forward is that Fubara has been elected, for the first time, a man won the 23 local governments in Rivers State, it has never happened. It shows acceptability of his people. So, we are saying that he must have his time to dish out the dividends of democracy to the people of Rivers State, so that if the government succeeds or fails, he will be held accountable.”

Ozioma Samuel-Ugwuezi

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