Why Pro-Wike lawmakers have lost their seats in Rivers Assembly – Falana explains

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Femi Falana (SAN) has nodded the decision of a Rivers High Court to suspend 25 members of the Rivers State House of Assembly members who decamped to the All Progressives Congress (APC) from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), saying the lawmakers have lost their seats.

IMPACT NEWS reports that the court restrained the affected members, who are loyal to FCT minister Nyesom Wike, from parading themselves as lawmakers until hearing on the matter on May 29.

In an interview with ChannelsTV on Sunday night, Falana insisted that the assembly members have lost their seats.

“The 25 lawmakers who defected have lost their seats. They have lost their rights to remain members of the assembly,” Falana said.

“In the case of Adetunde and the Labour Party, the Supreme Court made it clear that you cannot decamp and then remain a member of a legislative house in Nigeria unless you can show that there is a division in your party. Today, the PDP is one.”

A fresh crisis erupted in the Rivers State Assembly when some of the lawmakers elected Victor Oko-Jumbo as the speaker.

Oko-Jumbo who represents the Bonny constituency was elected by the lawmakers said to be loyal to Governor Fubara. Although, the number of persons who picked him as the speaker is unclear.

Falana, has, however, said that the lawmakers need a quorum to elect a speaker.

“Again, we have to look at the Constitution. Before the House can conduct proceedings, the House must form a quorum to conduct the business of the House, and a quorum in the Constitution is defined,” Falana said.

“But if you want to remove the governor by way of impeachment, again you must have a two-thirds majority of the legislature. This is very clear.”

Falana also said that President Bola Tinubu’s intervention in the political crisis rocking Rivers State is “extra-legal”.

 “I think the President’s intervention in the Rivers political crisis is not backed by any provision of the Constitution mind you,” he said on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics.

“It’s an extra-legal measure towards the restoration of law and order in that state.

“The President can only wish them well. And if they have taken their battle to the court of law, they just have to follow through and allow the law to take its course. That is what the rule of law is about under a democratic dispensation.

“There is no provision outside the law and that point has to be made abundantly clear to those involved in the crisis in Rivers State,” he said.

Recall that President Tinubu at some point waded into the crisis involving Governor Siminalayi Fubara and the Federal Capital Territory minister, Nyesom Wike.

His intervention led to a peace pact between the parties late last year, a move that was meant to calm the situation in the State.

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