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There’s No Crisis in Rivers Assembly, Just Legal Clarity Needed, Says Professor Wokocha 

Professor Wokocha has asserted that there is no crisis in Rivers State and that the appointment of caretakers is legal.

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An Associate Professor of Public Law in Rivers State University, Professor Ritchard Aduche Wokocha, has dismissed notions of crisis within the Rivers State Assembly, stressing the need for clarity within legal frameworks.

While speaking in an interview with ARISE NEWS on Thursday about the legality of the new appointment of caretakers by Rivers State Governor Siminalayi Fubara, Wokocha said that “the appointment of caretakers committee is in the Rivers State local government law number 5 of 2018.”

Addressing the recent controversy surrounding Fubara’s appointment of caretakers, Wokocha said, “Under this law, the state’s House of Assembly is empowered to legislate on how local governments are governed.”

Highlighting the constitutional mandate for a democratic local government system, Wokocha acknowledged the provision for caretaker committees in the absence of elected representatives. “During the previous administration in Rivers State, local governments operated for nearly three years under caretaker committees,” he noted.

Regarding Fubara’s assertion that caretakers can administer from any location, he supported this stance, stating, “The House of Assembly of a state can convene wherever it chooses, as it is the presence of sovereignty representing the territory that sanctifies the chamber.”

Referring to the Rivers State Assembly, Wokocha clarified, “There is no crisis, what we are dealing with is a procedural matter that has been outlined in the law when vacancies occur.”

He emphasised accountability under legal norms saying, “If I propose something today, it doesn’t create a crisis. It simply means I should be held accountable under the law. There is no crisis in the Rivers State House of Assembly.”

Wokocha advocated for electoral processes to fill vacant seats “The next course of action in Rivers State should be the conduct of elections to enable constituencies to elect their representatives and fill these spaces.”

Nancy Mbamalu 

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