Court restrains Rivers chief judge from accepting impeachment notice against Fubara

A high court in Rivers state has issued an interim order restraining Simone Chibuzor-Amadi, chief judge of Rivers state, from acting on any resolution or document seeking the impeachment of Siminalayi Fubara, governor of the state.


Ruling on a motion ex parte filed by the governor and the state attorney-general, Jumbo Stephen, presiding judge, also restrained the chief judge and clerk of the state assembly from dealing with Martin Amaewhule and 26 other lawmakers.


Amaewhule is speaker of the faction of the legislature loyal to Nyesom Wike, former governor of the state.


Apart from the 27 lawmakers loyal to Wike, the chief judge, and clerk of the assembly, other defendants include Victor Oko-Jumbo, factional speaker; Sokari Goodboy and Orubienimigha Anthony; and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).


The court further ordered all parties to maintain the status quo ante litem until the motion for an interlocutory injunction is heard and determined.


“That an order of interim injunction is hereby made restraining the 31st and 32nd defendants from dealing or howsoever relating with the 1st-27th defendants as members of the Rivers state house of assembly and from receiving, forwarding or howsoever acting on any resolutions, articles of impeachment or other defendants pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice for interlocutory injunction already filed herein,” the judge ruled.


“That the parties to this suit are hereby directed to maintain the status quo ante litem in this suit as of 5th July 2024, pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice for interlocutory injunction already filed herein.

“An order is hereby made for substituted service of the originating and other processes in this suit on the 1st-30th defendants by pasting the same at quarters, opposite former NDDC headquarters, off Aba Road, Port Harcourt, Rivers State.”


The judge fixed July 15 for the motion on notice for interlocutory injunction.


On May 30, Charles Wali, the high court judge, restrained the lawmakers in Amaewhule’s faction from conducting legislative sittings anywhere, including within the legislative quarters.


However, the high court’s order was overturned by the court of appeal on July 4.

A three-member panel of the appellate court led by Jimi Olukayode-Bada, held that the trial court lacked the jurisdiction to entertain the suit, as such matters can only be heard and determined before a federal high court.

On Monday, the two factions held parallel sittings in Port Harcourt. The faction of the assembly loyal to Wike has asked Fubara to resubmit the state’s 2024 budget within seven days.

The pro-Wike lawmakers held their plenary at the legislative quarters.


The Amaewhule-led assembly has also barred Fubara from spending from the state’s consolidated revenue fund.

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