Amaewhule Remains Speaker: Appeal Court Rules On Rivers Assembly Speakership

The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja has upheld the appeal of Rt Hon Martin Amaewhule and 24 others who approached the Court challenging the decision of the Rivers State High Court, which favored Victor Oko-Jumbo, the Speaker of the State House of Assembly.

 

It can be recalled that Justice CN Wali of the State High Court ruled in favour of Oko-Jumbo in a suit that restrained Amaewhule and twenty-four others from performing any legislative function and further declared their seats vacant, following their ‘defection’ from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

An interlocutory injunction was also granted against Amaewhule & 24 Ors, which has now been consolidated in the appeal.

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The three-judge panel of the Appeal Court: Jimi Olukayode Bada, Hamma Akawu Barka and Balkisu Bello Aliyu JJCA, In suit No: CA/PH/198/2024, the appellate Court held:

i. That the plaintiffs had the rights to institute the appeal.

ii. That the plaintiffs record of Appeal is not invalidated and thus have life.

iii. That the Appeal Court has jurisdiction to hear the meat of the matter.

 

That “The Court vested with Jurisdiction to entertain the suit of Hon. Oko Jumbo and others is the Federal High Court and not the State High Court”.

The trial court lacked the jurisdiction to hear the suit filed by the Respondent ”

“That consequent upon the foregoing, the order of the trial court having been made without Jurisdiction is of no effect and is hereby declared null and void.”

 

The Court held that only the Federal High Court and no other court has the jurisdiction to determine cases of tenures and vacancies of House of Assembly, Governors and President and not the State High Courts.

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