A Rivers State High Court in Port Harcourt has issued an order restraining the Speaker of the state Assembly aligned with Chief Nyesom Wike and 24 other lawmakers from functioning as members of the Rivers State House of Assembly.

The ruling, delivered by Justice Charles N. Wali, came in response to a case filed by Victor Oko Jumbo (Speaker, Rivers State House of Assembly), Sokari Goodboy, Orubienimigha Timothy, and other members of the Assembly. The suit, numbered PHC/1512/CS/2024, was filed against Martin Amaewhule and 24 others, including the Governor of Rivers State, the state’s Attorney General, and the Chief Judge.

Following a motion ex parte and after hearing arguments from legal representatives, including Sammie A. Somiari, SAN, with B. N. Owunabo, Esq, and others for the claimants/applicants, Justice Wali ruled that Amaewhule and his faction should cease acting as lawmakers.

The legal dispute stems from the defection of Amaewhule and the other 24 lawmakers from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC). In his ruling, Justice Wali ordered the Rivers State government to refrain from recognizing these lawmakers as their seats were declared vacant after defection from the PDP.

The interim injunction order issued by the court prohibits the 1st to 25th Defendants from presenting themselves as members of the Rivers State House of Assembly or conducting legislative activities. Additionally, it restrains the 26th to 28th Defendants from engaging with the lawmakers as mentioned above in any official capacity.

The court mandated that the order, motion on notice, and other relevant documents be served to the defendants within seven days by substituted means, including posting at the entrance gate of the Rivers State House of Assembly Legislative Quarters.

The case has been adjourned till May 29 for further proceedings.