Amaewhule-led Assembly gives Fubara seven days to re-present the 2024 budget.

The Rivers State House of Assembly, led by Martin Amaewhule, has given Governor Siminalayi Fubara a seven-day deadline to re-present the 2024 budget to the House.

The order comes as the pro-Wike House meets for the first time in months, on Monday. The other House, commanded by Victor Oko-Jumbo, is also having a simultaneous session.

Fubara had already submitted the budget to the House loyal to him while his current Chief of Staff, Edison Ehie, presided as Speaker.

Ehie and the other pro-Fubara lawmakers approved the budget estimates, which the governor signed into law. He claimed that it is intended to promote economic development, inclusive growth, and reduce socioeconomic disparity in the state.

With the latest development, the crisis shaking the Rivers State House of Assembly appears to be far from over.

Today’s long-awaited meeting of the Amaewhule-led Assembly may have followed last week’s Court of Appeal decision, which overturned the Rivers State High Court’s expulsion of Amaewhule and 24 others from the Rivers State House of Assembly.

In May, while deciding on a motion ex parte following a request brought before his court by Victor Oko Jumbo, Justice Charles Wali issued an ex parte order prohibiting Amaewhule and 24 other politicians from parading as members of the State House of Assembly.

However, on Monday last week, a three-member panel of the appellate court ruled that the lower court lacked authority to issue the exparte judgement.

The court ruled that Section 272(3) of the Constitution allows the Federal High Court the authority to evaluate whether a House of Assembly member’s seat has become empty.

It ruled that the Federal High Court has exclusive authority to assess whether seats have become empty.

According to the court, the precise reference of the Federal High Court in Section 272(3) of the Constitution precludes the state high courts from having jurisdiction.

The appellate court ruled that the exparte order, which was issued without jurisdiction, is null and invalid.

However, the group’s speaker, Victo Oko-Jumbo, stated in his opening remarks during a plenary on Friday that he and his colleagues believed the Appeal Court erred in its decision.

“We strongly believe that the Court of Appeal was in error when it held that the Rivers State High Court lacked the Jurisdiction to hear and determine SUIT NO PHC/1512/CS/2024,” according to him.

“Accordingly, we have instructed our lawyers and they have filed an appeal to the Supreme Court of Nigeria Challenging the Judgement of the Court of Appeal delivered on the 4th Day of July 2024.”

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