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Rivers assembly threatens to resume impeachment proceedings against Fubara

Rivers assembly threatens to resume impeachment proceedings against Fubara
March 30
22:11 2024

The Rivers house of assembly has threatened to resume impeachment proceedings against Siminalayi Fubara, governor of the state

Speaking on Saturday while addressing a press conference in Port Harcourt, the state capital, Martin Amaewhule, speaker of the house of assembly, who was flanked by 26 members of the chamber, accused Fubara of refusing to fulfil his part of the accord reached during a meeting with President Bola Tinubu.

The lawmakers said they withdrew their impeachment notice against Fubara out of respect for Tinubu, hoping that he would fulfil his side of the armistice.

The lawmakers said they would resume the impeachment proceedings against Fubara as the last resort if he continues to “breach the constitution”.

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“We begin by announcing to you that sponsored attacks on the house have failed woefully,” Amaewhule said.

“Enemies of the people and those who cannot withstand the principles of the rule of law as well as checks and balances in our nascent democracy, in their frustration, started with the burning and later demolition of the hallowed chamber.

“Their plan is to eliminate the legislature that is pushing for the independence granted her by the constitution since they cannot exercise undue control over her.

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“We survived these attacks! Their new strategy is to use another arm of government, lobbyists, attack dogs and the mainstream and social media to bring the house to disrepute and consummate their agenda.”

The lawmakers criticised members of the PDP presidential campaign council in the 2023 election for their remarks against the assembly and Nyesom Wike, minister of the federal capital territory (FCT).

“The latest of the new groups recruited against the 10th assembly is the former Rivers state PDP presidential campaign council. In a press conference on the 26th of March 2024 signed by Dr. Abiye Sekibo, this group inferred that the house is an illegal and unconstitutional assembly,” the speaker said.

‘NO INDIVIDUAL IS BIGGER THAN RIVERS’

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The lawmakers accused Fubara of “unlawful actions” and allegedly flouting the constitution.

“It is worthy of note that the notice of impeachment of the governor was quickly withdrawn by members of the house in fulfilment of the terms of the agreement and out of immense respect for the person and office of the president of the Federal Republic and believing that there would be a u-turn in terms of unlawful actions of the governor,” Amaewhule said.

“The reverse is now the case as we see from day to day the activities of the state governor been conducted outside the laws of Rivers state and the constitution.

“To this day, Rivers state remains the only state without an appropriation law.

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“So, if it becomes a last resort, in accordance with the law, we will not hesitate to do so because no individual is bigger than Rivers state, including the governor.”

BACKGROUND

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Wike, the immediate past governor of Rivers, and Fubara, his successor, have been embroiled in a struggle for the control of Rivers’ political structure.

The feud between both men sparked a political crisis in the state leading to the demolition of the Rivers house of assembly complex.

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The political crisis also resulted in the resignation of some of Fubara’s cabinet members.

In the wake of the crisis, Wike’s associates in the Rivers house of assembly commenced impeachment proceedings against the governor.

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Fubara’s allies kicked against the impeachment moves.

Thereafter, 27 lawmakers in the state house of assembly defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Edison Ehie, the factional speaker of the house at the time, declared the seats of the lawmakers vacant.

Fubara subsequently presented the 2024 budget before five members of the assembly.

On December 18, the governor and Wike agreed to end the political feud between them after President Bola Tinubu intervened.

Some of the resolutions reached at the meeting were that: All matters instituted in courts by the different factions should be immediately withdrawn, the 27 lawmakers who defected to the APC should be taken back as members of the assembly, the impeachment proceedings against Fubara should be withdrawn, and the govenor should represent the state budget to a properly constituted assembly.

Following the signing of the agreement, the 27 lawmakers who endorsed the impeachment proceedings also rescinded the notice against the governor.

The governor has also sworn in the commissioners who resigned from his government.

However, the political crisis has not abated.

The lawmakers recently vetoed the govenor on two bills he refused to sign into law.

The Rivers assembly is controlled by lawmakers loyal to Wike.

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