Some elders in Rivers state have approached a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja to declare the purported peace agreement with the Federal Capital Territory Minister, Nyesom Wike unconstitutional.
They stated that the said agreement, which was signed on December 18, was not only illegal but amounted to an usurpation, nullification, and undermining of the extant/binding relevant provisions of the 1999 Constitution, as amended.
The plaintiffs, led by a member of the Rivers State House of Assembly representing Bonny State Constituency, Victor Jumbo, are Senator Bennett Birabi, Senator Andrew Uchendu, Rear Admiral O.P. Fingesi, Ann Kio Briggs, and Emmanuel Deinma also asked the court to order the Independent National Electoral Commission to conduct a fresh poll to replace 27 lawmakers who defected from the Peoples Democratic Party to the All Progressives Congress.
Listed as defendants in the suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/1718/2023 are President Bola Tinubu; the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Governor Fubara, the Rivers Assembly, Speaker of the Rivers State Assembly, and the INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu.
They contended that neither Tinubu nor Fubara have the statutory powers to stop the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, from conducting fresh elections to replace the 27 Rivers State lawmakers who defected from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to the All Progressives Congress, APC.
The PUNCH reports last week that the political crisis in Rivers may have ceased as parties reached a truce.
This followed about three hours of the talks at the Aso Rock Villa, Abuja, between President Bola Tinubu, Rivers Governor, Mr Siminalayi Fubara; his Deputy, Mrs Ngozi Odu; a former governor of the State, Peter Odili and the immediate past governor now Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Nyesome Wike, and other stakeholders.
The FCT Minister, Wike, who was acclaimed to be instrumental in the emergence of Fubara and other elected officers in the last general elections, arrived at the State House at about 7 pm and was ushered into the President’s office, where the meeting was held.
Also present at the meeting was the Vice President, Kashim Shettima; the National Security Adviser, Nuhu Ribadu, and the President’s Chief of Staff, Femi Gbajabiamila.
According to an eight-point resolution signed at the end of the meeting on Monday night, the President directed that all lawsuits instituted in the courts by Fubara and his team regarding the political crisis in Rivers State be withdrawn immediately.
The resolution was signed by Fubara; his deputy, Ordu; Wike; Ribadu; factional Speaker of the Rivers State Assembly, Martin Amaewhule; Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party in Rivers State, Aaron Chukwuemeka, and his All Progressives Congress Chairman, Tony Okocha.
The eight-point resolution read: “All matters instituted in the courts by the Governor of Rivers State, Sir Fubara, and his team, in respect of the political crisis in Rivers State, shall be withdrawn immediately.
“All impeachment proceedings initiated against the Governor of Rivers State by the Rivers State House of Assembly should be dropped immediately
“The leadership of the Rivers State House of Assembly as led by the Rt. Hon. Martin Amaewhule shall be recognised alongside the 27 members who resigned from the PDP.
“The remunerations and benefits of all members of the Rivers State House of Assembly and their staff must be reinstated immediately and the Governor of Rivers State shall henceforth not interfere with the full funding of the Rivers State House of Assembly.
“The Rivers State House of Assembly shall choose where they want to sit and conduct their legislative business without interference and/or hindrance from the executive arm of government.
“The Governor of Rivers State, Sir Fubara, shall re-present the state budget to a properly constituted Rivers State House of Assembly.
“The names of all commissioners in the Rivers State Executive Council who resigned their appointments because of the political crisis in the State should be resubmitted to the House of Assembly for approval
“There should not be a caretaker committee for the local governments in Rivers State. The dissolution of the Local Government administration is null and void and shall not be recognised.”