6th December, 2023
By Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt
Members of the faction of Rivers House of Assembly led by Martin Amaewhule defied court orders to hold a plenary session amidst very heavy security on Wednesday.
The 27 lawmakers in the faction led by Amaewhule as the Speaker are loyal to Nyesom Wike, the Minister of Federal Capital Territory, FCT Abuja.
During the sitting, the faction elected Hon. Major Jack, the Member representing Akuku Toru Constituency 1, and former Whip of the House as the Majority Leader of the Tenth Assembly.
The faction also elected Hon. Frankline Nwabochi, Member, representing Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Constituency 1, as the new Whip of the House.
The two new principal officers accordingly took their oath of office during the plenary.
The Speaker Martin Chike Amaewhule congratulated the new principal officers and charged them to be committed to their new responsibilities.
Aside the election of the two principal officers, the lawmakers gave First Reading to a Bill which seeks to amend the Rivers State Local Government Law, No. 5 of 2018 and other matters and matters connected thereto during the Wednesday’s plenary.
They also debated on the Rivers State House of Assembly Funds Management (Financial Autonomy) Bill, 2023, after giving the Bill a Second Reading.
The Speaker, Rt. Hon. Martin Amaewhule harped on the importance of the Bill and stated his conviction that when passed, the Governor will give his assent to the Bill.[
The Speaker hinted that the Governor, Siminialayi Fubara has withheld the funds meant for the Assembly for November 2023.
But stated the resolve of the House to perform its constitutional function despite the distractions, and referred the Bill to the House Committee on Public Accounts for public hearing and further legislative scrutiny.
Members of the faction also commended their Speaker following a motion moved by Hon. Enemi George, Member, representing Asari Toru II.
The Deputy Speaker, Rt. Hon. Dumle Maol, other principal officers and members extolled the ‘sterling leadership qualities of Rt. Hon. Amaewhule and his team, for upholding the tenets of democracy.’
In response, the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Amaewhule thanked the 27 Members of the House for passing a vote of confidence on him and other principal officers; and reaffirmed his commitment to the service of the House and the State.
At the time of filing this report, the Edison Ehie factional Speaker who is leading four lawmakers loyal to Governor Siminalayi Fubara has not reacted to the latest development.
It would be recalled that the Ehie faction had obtained a court order barring the Amaewhule faction from sitting.
The House descended into crisis and became factionalised following a move to impeach Governor Fubara by the Wike’s loyalists in the legislative chamber.
However, a State High Court has barred the lawmakers from proceeding with the impeachment.
Photos from the Rivers House of Assembly loyal to Nyesom Wike Minister of Federal Capital Territory FCT Abuja,and led by Martin Amaewhule as Speaker representing Obio-Akpor Consituency 1 on Wednesday, December 6 presid