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Pro-Wike’s Rivers lawmakers request granted as court restrains Fubara, police, National Assembly, others

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A Federal High Court in Abuja has ordered members of the Rivers State House of Assembly loyal to the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nyesom Wike, to hold plenary pending the determination of the motion on notice.

The court presided over by Justice J. K. Omotoso restrained the Rivers State Government from withholding funds meant for the Assembly and barred the National Assembly from taking over its functions.

Naija News reports that the court issued the orders restraining the state government following a suit brought before it by the Assembly and the Speaker.

Defendants in the suit are the National Assembly, the Senate President, the Deputy Senate President, the Senate Majority Leader, the Senate Minority Leader, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Deputy Speaker, the House Majority Leader, and the House Minority Leader.

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Others are the Clerk of the National Assembly, the Governor of Rivers State, the Rivers State Commissioner for Finance, the Rivers State Attorney-General, the Rivers Civil Service Commission, and the Inspector-General of Police.

Ruling on the motion, Justice Omotosho granted the reliefs sought by the plaintiffs and also restrained Governor Siminalayi Fubara from transferring the clerk, the deputy Clerk, and any other employee appointed by the Assembly.

The court observed that the affidavit supporting the motion exparte showed that more than two-thirds or 25 of the 31 members were sitting and transacting business.

The court said: “Rivers State House of Assembly is a constitutional institution that needs to be preserved pending the determination of the motion on notice.”

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Consequently, the court issued an order of interim injunction restraining the first to 14th defendants from taking over the functions of the Rivers State House of Assembly or in any manner assuming the roles and functions or duties of the Assembly, pending the hearing of the motion on notice for interlocutory injunction dated and filed November 29.

The court also issued an order “restraining the 11th to 14th defendants from withholding any amount standing to the credit of the Rivers State House of Assembly in the consolidated revenue fund of Rivers State, including salaries and emoluments due and payable to the Speaker, Deputy Speaker and other members of the first plaintiff as well as to the clerk, deputy Clerk and other members of staff of the House in any manner whatsoever denying the assembly of due fund for running its affairs pending the hearing of the motion on notice.

“The above orders are made basically on the fact that the 25 members out of 31 Rivers State House of Assembly are sitting and transacting business, therefore, the plaintiff/applicants are hereby ordered to enter to undertake as damages to the tune of N1bn if it is discovered or established that less than 25 members or two-third of Rivers State House of Assembly are not sitting and transacting business as stated in the affidavit to support the motion.”

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