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Falana, SAN, Insists: Rivers’ Lawmakers Who Defected To APC Have Lost Their Seats; Says Fubara Can’t Dictate Legislature’s Meeting


Femi Falana (SAN) insists Rivers State House of Assembly members who decamped to the All Progressives Congress (APC) from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have lost their positions in the lawmaking body.https://googleads.g.doubleclick.net/pagead/ads?gdpr=0&client=ca-pub-2023028789149162&output=html&h=300&slotname=5559997686&adk=2850476258&adf=3614527647&pi=t.ma~as.5559997686&w=360&abgtt=7&lmt=1715566022&rafmt=1&armr=1&format=360×300&url=https%3A%2F%2Fthenigerialawyer.com%2Ffalana-san-insists-rivers-lawmakers-who-defected-to-apc-have-lost-their-seats-says-fubara-cant-dictate-legislatures-meeting%2F&host=ca-host-pub-2644536267352236&fwr=1&rs=1&rh=375&rw=360&rpe=1&resp_fmts=3&sfro=1&wgl=1&dt=1715574725034&bpp=19&bdt=4224&idt=-M&shv=r20240508&mjsv=m202405070101&ptt=9&saldr=aa&abxe=1&cookie=ID%3D06bd9a19950fee80-228db99240e000ff%3AT%3D1690064131%3ART%3D1715574069%3AS%3DALNI_MbC8skCs4ebnwglGM5u4k6lTU5mHw&gpic=UID%3D00000d040e7e3532%3AT%3D1690064131%3ART%3D1715574069%3AS%3DALNI_MaUaQ3b_8VGnevtHWowzDhtzfQSsw&eo_id_str=ID%3Dbed612196c3467bf%3AT%3D1706831129%3ART%3D1715574069%3AS%3DAA-AfjYSRgOf6GOKi6lJ12o6iGNz&prev_fmts=0x0&nras=1&correlator=3214784674648&frm=20&pv=1&ga_vid=2052961092.1690064131&ga_sid=1715574722&ga_hid=1095864079&ga_fc=1&rplot=4&u_tz=60&u_his=50&u_h=800&u_w=360&u_ah=800&u_aw=360&u_cd=24&u_sd=2&dmc=4&adx=0&ady=1637&biw=360&bih=688&scr_x=0&scr_y=0&eid=44759875%2C44759926%2C44759842%2C42531644%2C95329718%2C95331982%2C31083490%2C95331043%2C95332402%2C95332415&oid=2&pvsid=4076636329459965&tmod=1533292831&uas=3&nvt=1&ref=https%3A%2F%2Fthenigerialawyer.com%2F&fc=1920&brdim=0%2C0%2C0%2C0%2C360%2C0%2C360%2C688%2C360%2C688&vis=1&rsz=%7C%7CoeEbr%7C&abl=CS&pfx=0&fu=128&bc=31&bz=1&psd=W251bGwsbnVsbCxudWxsLDNd&ifi=2&uci=a!2&btvi=1&fsb=1&dtd=723

About 25 lawmakers loyal to the immediate past governor of Rivers State and the current Minister of the FCT Nyesom Wike had defected to the APC in the wake of the political impasse involving him and Governor Siminalayi Fubara.

While Falana had late last year said the lawmakers would lose their seats for moving to the APC, the human rights lawyer has doubled down on his position.

“The 25 lawmakers who defected have lost their seats. They have lost their rights to remain members of the assembly,” he said on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics.

“In the case of Adetunde and the Labour Party, the Supreme Court made it clear that you cannot decamp and then remain a member of a legislative house in Nigeria unless you can show that there is a division in your party. Today, the PDP is one.”

A fresh crisis erupted in the Rivers State Assembly when some of the lawmakers elected Victor Oko-Jumbo as the speaker.

Oko-Jumbo who represents the Bonny constituency was elected by the lawmakers said to be loyal to Governor Fubara. Although the number of persons who picked him as the speaker is unclear.https://googleads.g.doubleclick.net/pagead/ads?gdpr=0&client=ca-pub-2023028789149162&output=html&h=300&adk=401223364&adf=2581297415&w=360&abgtt=7&lmt=1715566022&num_ads=1&rafmt=1&armr=3&sem=mc&pwprc=8623283848&ad_type=text_image&format=360×300&url=https%3A%2F%2Fthenigerialawyer.com%2Ffalana-san-insists-rivers-lawmakers-who-defected-to-apc-have-lost-their-seats-says-fubara-cant-dictate-legislatures-meeting%2F&host=ca-host-pub-2644536267352236&fwr=1&pra=3&rh=267&rw=320&rpe=1&resp_fmts=3&sfro=1&wgl=1&fa=27&dt=1715574725034&bpp=13&bdt=4224&idt=-M&shv=r20240508&mjsv=m202405070101&ptt=9&saldr=aa&abxe=1&cookie=ID%3D06bd9a19950fee80-228db99240e000ff%3AT%3D1690064131%3ART%3D1715574069%3AS%3DALNI_MbC8skCs4ebnwglGM5u4k6lTU5mHw&gpic=UID%3D00000d040e7e3532%3AT%3D1690064131%3ART%3D1715574069%3AS%3DALNI_MaUaQ3b_8VGnevtHWowzDhtzfQSsw&eo_id_str=ID%3Dbed612196c3467bf%3AT%3D1706831129%3ART%3D1715574069%3AS%3DAA-AfjYSRgOf6GOKi6lJ12o6iGNz&prev_fmts=0x0%2C360x300%2C360x300&nras=3&correlator=3214784674648&frm=20&pv=1&ga_vid=2052961092.1690064131&ga_sid=1715574722&ga_hid=1095864079&ga_fc=1&u_tz=60&u_his=50&u_h=800&u_w=360&u_ah=800&u_aw=360&u_cd=24&u_sd=2&dmc=4&adx=0&ady=3098&biw=360&bih=688&scr_x=0&scr_y=0&eid=44759875%2C44759926%2C44759842%2C42531644%2C95329718%2C95331982%2C31083490%2C95331043%2C95332402%2C95332415&oid=2&pvsid=4076636329459965&tmod=1533292831&uas=3&nvt=1&ref=https%3A%2F%2Fthenigerialawyer.com%2F&fc=1408&brdim=0%2C0%2C0%2C0%2C360%2C0%2C360%2C688%2C360%2C688&vis=1&rsz=%7C%7Cs%7C&abl=NS&fu=128&bc=31&bz=1&psd=W251bGwsbnVsbCxudWxsLDNd&ifi=5&uci=a!5&btvi=3&fsb=1&dtd=1052

Falana, has, however, said that the lawmakers need a quorum to elect a speaker.

“Again, we have to look at the Constitution. Before the House can conduct proceedings, the House must form a quorum to conduct the business of the House, and a quorum in the Constitution is defined,” Falana said.

“But if you want to remove the governor by way of impeachment, again you must have a two-thirds majority of the legislature. This is very clear.”https://googleads.g.doubleclick.net/pagead/ads?gdpr=0&client=ca-pub-2023028789149162&output=html&h=300&adk=401223364&adf=723558958&w=360&abgtt=7&lmt=1715566022&num_ads=1&rafmt=1&armr=3&sem=mc&pwprc=8623283848&ad_type=text_image&format=360×300&url=https%3A%2F%2Fthenigerialawyer.com%2Ffalana-san-insists-rivers-lawmakers-who-defected-to-apc-have-lost-their-seats-says-fubara-cant-dictate-legislatures-meeting%2F&host=ca-host-pub-2644536267352236&fwr=1&pra=3&rh=267&rw=320&rpe=1&resp_fmts=3&sfro=1&wgl=1&fa=27&dt=1715574725034&bpp=14&bdt=4224&idt=-M&shv=r20240508&mjsv=m202405070101&ptt=9&saldr=aa&abxe=1&cookie=ID%3D06bd9a19950fee80-228db99240e000ff%3AT%3D1690064131%3ART%3D1715574069%3AS%3DALNI_MbC8skCs4ebnwglGM5u4k6lTU5mHw&gpic=UID%3D00000d040e7e3532%3AT%3D1690064131%3ART%3D1715574069%3AS%3DALNI_MaUaQ3b_8VGnevtHWowzDhtzfQSsw&eo_id_str=ID%3Dbed612196c3467bf%3AT%3D1706831129%3ART%3D1715574069%3AS%3DAA-AfjYSRgOf6GOKi6lJ12o6iGNz&prev_fmts=0x0%2C360x300%2C360x300%2C360x300&nras=4&correlator=3214784674648&frm=20&pv=1&ga_vid=2052961092.1690064131&ga_sid=1715574722&ga_hid=1095864079&ga_fc=1&u_tz=60&u_his=50&u_h=800&u_w=360&u_ah=800&u_aw=360&u_cd=24&u_sd=2&dmc=4&adx=0&ady=3762&biw=360&bih=688&scr_x=0&scr_y=0&eid=44759875%2C44759926%2C44759842%2C42531644%2C95329718%2C95331982%2C31083490%2C95331043%2C95332402%2C95332415&oid=2&pvsid=4076636329459965&tmod=1533292831&uas=3&nvt=1&ref=https%3A%2F%2Fthenigerialawyer.com%2F&fc=1408&brdim=0%2C0%2C0%2C0%2C360%2C0%2C360%2C688%2C360%2C688&vis=1&rsz=%7C%7Cs%7C&abl=NS&fu=128&bc=31&bz=1&psd=W251bGwsbnVsbCxudWxsLDNd&ifi=6&uci=a!6&btvi=4&fsb=1&dtd=1100

He also faulted Governor Simi Fubara of Rivers State for directing members of the state assembly to meet at the Government House, saying the legislature is independent of the executive.

Explaining that since both arms of government are independent, Fubara cannot change the sitting venue of the Rivers State House of Assembly.

“I would like to assume that the governor issued that executive order before the intervention of the High Court in Rivers State,” Falana said on the show.https://googleads.g.doubleclick.net/pagead/ads?gdpr=0&client=ca-pub-2023028789149162&output=html&h=300&adk=401223364&adf=1642828540&w=360&abgtt=7&lmt=1715566022&num_ads=1&rafmt=1&armr=3&sem=mc&pwprc=8623283848&ad_type=text_image&format=360×300&url=https%3A%2F%2Fthenigerialawyer.com%2Ffalana-san-insists-rivers-lawmakers-who-defected-to-apc-have-lost-their-seats-says-fubara-cant-dictate-legislatures-meeting%2F&host=ca-host-pub-2644536267352236&fwr=1&pra=3&rh=267&rw=320&rpe=1&resp_fmts=3&sfro=1&wgl=1&fa=27&dt=1715574725034&bpp=17&bdt=4224&idt=-M&shv=r20240508&mjsv=m202405070101&ptt=9&saldr=aa&abxe=1&cookie=ID%3D06bd9a19950fee80-228db99240e000ff%3AT%3D1690064131%3ART%3D1715574069%3AS%3DALNI_MbC8skCs4ebnwglGM5u4k6lTU5mHw&gpic=UID%3D00000d040e7e3532%3AT%3D1690064131%3ART%3D1715574069%3AS%3DALNI_MaUaQ3b_8VGnevtHWowzDhtzfQSsw&eo_id_str=ID%3Dbed612196c3467bf%3AT%3D1706831129%3ART%3D1715574069%3AS%3DAA-AfjYSRgOf6GOKi6lJ12o6iGNz&prev_fmts=0x0%2C360x300%2C360x300%2C360x300%2C360x300&nras=5&correlator=3214784674648&frm=20&pv=1&ga_vid=2052961092.1690064131&ga_sid=1715574722&ga_hid=1095864079&ga_fc=1&u_tz=60&u_his=50&u_h=800&u_w=360&u_ah=800&u_aw=360&u_cd=24&u_sd=2&dmc=4&adx=0&ady=4478&biw=360&bih=688&scr_x=0&scr_y=0&eid=44759875%2C44759926%2C44759842%2C42531644%2C95329718%2C95331982%2C31083490%2C95331043%2C95332402%2C95332415&oid=2&pvsid=4076636329459965&tmod=1533292831&uas=3&nvt=1&ref=https%3A%2F%2Fthenigerialawyer.com%2F&fc=1408&brdim=0%2C0%2C0%2C0%2C360%2C0%2C360%2C688%2C360%2C688&vis=1&rsz=%7C%7Cs%7C&abl=NS&fu=128&bc=31&bz=1&psd=W251bGwsbnVsbCxudWxsLDNd&ifi=7&uci=a!7&btvi=5&fsb=1&dtd=1147

“The house is independent of the executive. So the governor cannot tell the house where to sit.”

Fubara had on Friday issued an executive order for the immediate and temporary relocation of the sitting of the Rivers State Assembly to the Auditorium, Admin Block of the Government House, Port Harcourt.

In an official Gazette, Executive Order of the Rivers State Government 001-2023, Fubara cited the unsafe state of the House of Assembly complex.https://googleads.g.doubleclick.net/pagead/ads?gdpr=0&client=ca-pub-2023028789149162&output=html&h=300&adk=401223364&adf=3232765879&w=360&abgtt=7&lmt=1715566022&num_ads=1&rafmt=1&armr=3&sem=mc&pwprc=8623283848&ad_type=text_image&format=360×300&url=https%3A%2F%2Fthenigerialawyer.com%2Ffalana-san-insists-rivers-lawmakers-who-defected-to-apc-have-lost-their-seats-says-fubara-cant-dictate-legislatures-meeting%2F&host=ca-host-pub-2644536267352236&fwr=1&pra=3&rh=267&rw=320&rpe=1&resp_fmts=3&sfro=1&wgl=1&fa=27&dt=1715574724314&bpp=14&bdt=3504&idt=15&shv=r20240508&mjsv=m202405070101&ptt=9&saldr=aa&abxe=1&cookie=ID%3D06bd9a19950fee80-228db99240e000ff%3AT%3D1690064131%3ART%3D1715574688%3AS%3DALNI_MbC8skCs4ebnwglGM5u4k6lTU5mHw&gpic=UID%3D00000d040e7e3532%3AT%3D1690064131%3ART%3D1715574688%3AS%3DALNI_MaUaQ3b_8VGnevtHWowzDhtzfQSsw&eo_id_str=ID%3Dbed612196c3467bf%3AT%3D1706831129%3ART%3D1715574688%3AS%3DAA-AfjYSRgOf6GOKi6lJ12o6iGNz&prev_fmts=0x0%2C360x300%2C360x300%2C360x300%2C360x300%2C360x300%2C360x90%2C360x300&nras=8&correlator=3214784674648&frm=20&pv=1&ga_vid=2052961092.1690064131&ga_sid=1715574722&ga_hid=1095864079&ga_fc=1&u_tz=60&u_his=50&u_h=800&u_w=360&u_ah=800&u_aw=360&u_cd=24&u_sd=2&dmc=4&adx=0&ady=3642&biw=360&bih=688&scr_x=0&scr_y=0&eid=44759875%2C44759926%2C44759842%2C42531644%2C95329718%2C95331982%2C31083490%2C95331043%2C95332402%2C95332415&oid=2&pvsid=4076636329459965&tmod=1533292831&uas=3&nvt=1&ref=https%3A%2F%2Fthenigerialawyer.com%2F&fc=1408&brdim=0%2C0%2C0%2C0%2C360%2C0%2C360%2C688%2C360%2C688&vis=1&rsz=%7C%7Cs%7C&abl=NS&cms=2&fu=128&bc=31&bz=1&psd=W251bGwsbnVsbCxudWxsLDNd&ifi=8&uci=a!8&btvi=8&fsb=1&dtd=3321

“NOW THEREFORE, I SIR SIMINALAYI FUBARA GSSRS, the Governor of Rivers State this 30th day of October 2023, Pursuant to the powers vested in me under the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) hereby ISSUE, ORDER, AND DIRECT that all proceedings and business of Rivers State House of Assembly shall temporarily take place at the Auditorium, Admin Block, Government House, Port Harcourt until the repairs, renovation or reconstruction of the chambers of the Rivers State House of Assembly are completed,” part of the gazette read.

But Falana insisted that Fubara was wrong to move the sitting venue of the Rivers State House of Assembly, and referenced an impeachment of a governor done outside the premises of the House of Assembly which was nullified by the Supreme Court.

“This was very clear in the Oyo State case which led to the impeachment of Governor Ladoja whereby under the influence of the late Chief Lamidi Adedibu, the House was alleged to have sat in a hotel and the Supreme Court made that point abundantly clear that an impeachment carried out in a hotel deviates clearly from the Constitution,” the human rights lawyer said.

“So any sitting of the House outside the premise of the House of Assembly complex will not be known to law; will not be recognized by law.”

He said if there is a need for a sitting elsewhere, the members of the House of Assembly, properly constituted, will have to decide where to carry out their meeting.

“There is a separation of powers under the Constitution and each organ of the government must recognise its own powers and limitations,” he said.

Falana equally said having defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC), the lawmakers have lost their position.

“The 25 lawmakers who defected have lost their seats. They have lost their rights to remain members of the assembly,” he said.

“In the case of Adetunde and the Labour Party, the Supreme Court made it clear that you cannot decamp and then remain a member of a legislative house in Nigeria unless you can show that there is a division in your party. Today, the PDP is one.”

Speaking further Falana (SAN) said that President Bola Tinubu’s intervention in the political crisis rocking Rivers State is “extra-legal”.

Recall that Tinubu waded into the crisis in Rivers State involving Governor Simi Fubara and his predecessor Nyesom Wike, leading to a peace path between the parties late last year.

But Falana said there is no provision outside of the law to resolve the political crisis.

“I think the President’s intervention in the Rivers political crisis is not backed by any provision of the Constitution mind you,” he said on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics. “It’s an extra-legal measure towards the restoration of law and order in that state.”

Although a peace path was signed after Tinubu’s intervention, Falana said if parties involved in the crisis cannot adhere to the tenets of the agreement, the law has to take its course.

“The President can only wish them well. And if they have taken their battle to the court of law, they just have to follow through and allow the law to take its course,” Falana said. “That is what the rule of law is about under a democratic dispensation.”

“There is no provision outside the law and that point has to be made abundantly clear to those involved in the crisis in Rivers State,” the legal practitioner insisted.”

He also spoke about Governor Fubara’s executive order relocating the sitting venue of the Rivers State House of Assembly.

According to him, the governor’s move is not a contravention of the separation of powers among the three arms of government.

“I would like to assume that the governor issued that executive order before the intervention of the High Court in Rivers State,” Falana added on the show.

“The house is independent of the executive. So the governor cannot tell the house where to sit.”

Credit: The Nigeria Lawyer

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One comment on “Falana, SAN, Insists: Rivers’ Lawmakers Who Defected To APC Have Lost Their Seats; Says Fubara Can’t Dictate Legislature’s Meeting

Stephen Choji Kim

Do we really have law’s in Nigeria? And if we do are they really working? If course CAPITAL NO!!!
Shame on Us.
HON ENGR STEPHEN CHOJI KIM Ultimate

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