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Fubara beats Wike again as court nullifies amendment of Rivers LG law by pro-Wike lawmakers

By Ikechukwu Onyia

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In a significant development, governor Sim Fubara of Rivers State has emerged victorious once again in his ongoing political battle with his predecessor, Nyesom Wike who is now the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory.

This power struggle has effectively divided the Rivers State House of Assembly into two factions – one supporting Wike and the other supporting Fubara.

The Pro-Wike faction had previously made headlines by announcing their successful override of Governor Fubara’s veto on the Rivers State Local Government Amendment Law 2018, effectively passing it into law against Fubara’s objections. However, in a stunning turn of events, the High Court has nullified this amendment on Tuesday.

However, delivering judgement on Tuesday (today) on the matter with suit No. PHC/1320/CS/2024 Between Hon. Enyiada Cookey-Gam & 6 Ors. Vs. The Governor of Rivers State & Ors., His lordship, Justice D.G. Kio Ph.D, held that the Local Government law No. 2 of 2024, purporting to extend the tenure of Local Government Chairman for 6 months after the expiration of their tenure is invalid as it is inconsistent with the 1999 constitution and section 9 (1) of the Rivers State Local Government law No. 5 of 2018.

The Court further held that the applicable law in the circumstances is the Rivers State Local Government law No. 5 of 2018 that fixed three years tenure for local Government chairmen and councillors and not the local government law No 2 of 2024 which was enacted to unlawfully extend their tenure.

Meanwhile, this court ruling marks a significant setback for the pro-Wike lawmakers and a major victory for Governor Fubara. The nullification of the amendment raises questions about the legality and validity of the law passed by the pro-Wike faction.

Recall that a Rivers Court had previously on 11th May, barred Wike faction led Amaewhule, 26 other lawmakers from parading as Assembly members.

The political landscape in Rivers State remains tense as the power struggle between Fubara and Wike continues. The court’s decision adds another layer of complexity to an already contentious situation.

 

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