Gov Siminalayi Fubara
A group of elders have filed a motion ex parte, seeking to prevent Rivers State Governor, Siminalayi Fubara from re-presenting the 2024 budget to the state House of Assembly.
This move comes in response to the ongoing political crisis in the state, which saw the Assembly become factionalized and the destruction of its complex with an explosive in October.
Governor Fubara had initially presented an N800 billion 2024 budget to a faction of the Assembly, comprising four lawmakers, and subsequently signed it into law.
The Assembly split following a move by 27 lawmakers loyal to former Governor Nyesom Wike to impeach Fubara.
This split has significantly strained the relationship between Fubara and his political godfather, Wike.
President Bola Tinubu intervened in December, resulting in an eight-point resolution signed in Abuja.
The resolution stipulated that Fubara would re-present the budget to the pro-Wike lawmakers, led by Speaker Martin Amaewhule.
It also included the reabsorption of 10 pro-Wike commissioners who resigned from Fubara’s cabinet.
However, the Rivers elders criticised the resolution and deemed it biased against Fubara and unconstitutional.
The elders, including Assembly member Victor Jumbo and other notable figures, through their lawyer Kayode Ajulo (SAN), have now called on the court to restrain the Assembly and its Speaker from allowing the 27 defecting lawmakers to participate in plenary sessions.
The elders have sought an order to stop the Assembly from passing another 2024 fiscal budget pending the hearing of their Motion on Notice.
This move aims to prevent the 27 members of the Assembly from holding plenary sessions.
In compliance with the Abuja resolution, the Assembly conducted a fresh screening on Wednesday and confirmed the reabsorption of the 10 pro-Wike commissioners.
The Speaker, Amaewhule, noted that Governor Fubara had requested the screening of the nine commissioner nominees loyal to Wike.
The Speaker also expressed frustration over the lack of response from Governor Fubara to Assembly correspondences, warning of potential rejections of future correspondences if this trend continues.