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May 7, 2024

Rivers Procurement Law: Use court to prosecute 27 Rivers lawmakers for impersonation – G60 Reps

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G-60, a group of federal lawmakers have said it is time to use Magistrate Court to declare the 27 persons parading themselves as lawmakers of the Rivers State House of Assembly wanted for impersonation.

The G60 demand followed the purported overriding of the assent of Governor Siminialayi Fubara to pass the Rivers State Public Procurement (Amendment)Bill 2024 into law on Monday.

According to them the governor had done the rightful thing by withholding his assent when the non-existing Assembly led by Martin Amaewhule passed the so-called bill in March 26,2024.

In a statement signed by the G-60 Spokesperson and the member representing Ideato North South Federal Constituency of Imo State, Hon. Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere said the group of 27 persons led by Amaewhule had since lost their status as lawmakers and lacked the powers and legitimacy to perform any legislative function.

Ugochinyere insisted that the seats 27 former lawmakers had been declared vacant since December last year when they defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC) by the then by the Speaker, Hon. Edison Ehie through a court order he obtained to carry out legislative business without interference of the group led by Martin Amaewhule.

He said going by the Nigerian Constitution, “the seats of the respective 27 former lawmakers had become vacant by virtue of the provision of Section 109 (1) (g) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).

“Section 109 (1) of the 1999 Constitution provides that ‘a member of a House of Assembly shall vacate his seat in the House if … (g) being a person whose election to the House of Assembly was sponsored by a political Party, he becomes a member of another political party before the expiration of the period for which that House was elected.

“Based on the above constitutional provision and its interpretation by the Supreme Court, the 27 defected members of the Rivers State House of Assembly have vacated and lost their seats, rights, privileges, recognition, and obligations accruable to members of the Rivers State House of Assembly.”

Ugochinyere maintained that while the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has “continued to fail in their responsibility, duty and obligation to conduct a fresh election to fill the vacant seats, the
Magistrate Court should be urgently deployed to declare those 27 persons parading themselves as lawmakers wanted for impersonation.

“As long as INEC is yet to conduct elections and these elements are not stopped by the Magistrate Court, they will continue with the impersonation, rascality, aberration and violation of the laws of the country making it a laughing stock in the comity of nations.

“For instance, how can people who are not lawmakers of members of a legislature legislate on important matter like enacting a law and sending to a governor for assent and after the governor being a law abiding person refused to assent to such illegality, they will now go on another charade that they have vetoed the governor?”

Vanguard News