Appeal Court didn’t nullify sack of 27 pro-Wike lawmakers – G60 Reps

The Group of 60 opposition federal lawmakers have said that the declaration of the seats of the 27 pro-wike sacked lawmakers remains valid and have not been nullified by any court in Nigeria.

Spokesperson of the Coalition in the House of Representatives, Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere, clarified that the Appeal Court didn’t void the declaration of the seat of 27 Pro-Wike sacked lawmakers vacant, following their defection to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Justice Charles Wali of the Rivers State High Court had on May 10, issued an interim injunction that restrained the sacked lawmakers loyal to the immediate past Governor of the state and current Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Nyesom Wike, from parading themselves as members of the State House of Assembly, having decamped from the political party that sponsored their elections.

The court order followed a suit that was filed by Hon. Victor Oko-Jumbo who subsequently emerged as the Speaker of the Assembly.

The litigants, in their suit, contended that Amaewhule and the other defected lawmakers ceased to be members of the Rivers State House of Assembly since December 13, 2023, when their seats were declared vacant. While upholding the case of the plaintiffs, Justice Wali barred the pro-Wike lawmakers from accessing the Assembly complex or carrying out any legislative assignment in the name of the Rivers State House of Assembly.

However, the appellate court, ruling on a suit lodged before it by the former lawmakers who were led by the former Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Hon. Martin Amaewhule on Thursday, held that the Rivers State High Court, which issued the order, lacked the requisite jurisdiction to do so.

Reacting to the Court Ruling, the spokesperson of G60 lawmakers, Ugochinyere on Thursfay, stressed that the Pro-Wike  sacked Rivers lawmakers seat remains vacant as Appeal court didn’t decide on the validity of their illegal defection nor the declaration of their seat vacant.

He said, “The Court of Appeal ruling today shouldn’t be misconstrued in any way. The Pro-Wike sacked Rivers lawmakers seat remains vacant as Appeal court didn’t decide on the validity of their illegal decampment nor the declaration of their seats vacant. Appeal Court focused on declaring that the Federal High Court is the only court with the jurisdiction to decide on the legality or illegality of decampment thereby ruling against Rivers High Court proceedings”.

He said the lawmakers were architects of their own doom, when in desperation to satisfy a godfather, “left a political party on which platform they were elected, when there was no crisis, nor division in the party. “Section 109  of the Constitution was very clear. You cannot legalise an illegality”, he said.