New Pro-Fubara Speaker Emerges Amidst Political Tensions in Rivers Assembly(Photos) | #NwokeukwuMascot


…New pro-Fubara Speaker emerges in Rivers Assembly | #NwokeukwuMascot

 Victor Oko Jumbo 
Hon. Victor Oko Jumbo, the lawmaker Representing Bonny Local Government Area State Constituency at the Rivers State House of Assembly, has emerged as the new speaker of the state assembly.

Jumbo emerged as the speaker of the three-man assembly members that is loyal to the state governor, Siminalayi Fubara, during its sitting in Port Harcourt on Wednesday.

Jumbo is emerging after the resignation of Rt. Hon. Edion Ehie, now the Chief of Staff to the state government.

This emergence is coming when the APC and the LGA chairmen in the state are calling for the impeachment of the governor.

APC said the impeachment process was necessary given the governor’s blatant refusal to honour the peace agreement initiated by President Bola Tinubu between Fubara and the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Nyesom Wike, some months ago and his recent declaration of the lawmakers’ seats vacant.

Recall that on Monday, Fubara had declared, for the first time since the commencement of the crisis, that the APC lawmakers do not exist in the eyes of the law.

In his reaction, the caretaker committee chairman of the Rivers State APC, Chief Tony Okocha, who addressed newsmen in Port Harcourt, said the statement of the governor was tantamount to re-writing the constitution of Nigeria.

He said: “He has re-written the books. Elementary politics taught us there are three organs of government and their roles. And goes further to talk about the separation of powers and checks and balances.

“What the governor was implying clearly is that he is ruling Rivers State without laws. That Rivers State runs an executive arm and judiciary. So, what that implies is simply absurdity.

“You can now see the tendencies of a dictator. As an opposition party in Rivers State, we will not keep quiet, we will shout. Regrettably, the governor has taken up to this point and we will not take it.

“The governor said that the President’s intervention in Rivers State which he signed was not constitutional but a political solution. But he assented to it, not under duress. The agreement was signed in a friendly environment and the governor assented to the proclamation and had the opportunity to speak where he thanked Mr President.”

However, In his acceptance speech, Rt. Hon. Victor Oko-Jumbo, thanked the members for electing him as the new Speaker sequel to the resignation of the former Speaker, Rt. Hon. Edison Ogerenye Ehie.

Speaking on the floor of the House, Oko-Jumbo said: "This is in line with Section 92(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (CFRN 1999) as Amended.

"You will agree with me that after the House last sat on the 13th of December, 2023, and adjourned sine dine, there has been an avalanche of legislative rascality perpetrated by the 25 former members of the 10th Rivers State House of Assembly, led by the former Speaker, Rt. Hon. Martin Chike Amaewhule. 

"These former members, being fully aware of the provisions of Section 109(1)(g) of the CFRN 1999, defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Party (APC) on the 11th of December, 2023.

"Consequently, the Rt. Hon. Edison Ogerenye Ehie-led Assembly, on the 13th of December, 2023, wrote to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), declaring the seats of the 25 lawmakers vacant in line with Section 109(1)(g) and (2) of the CFRN 1999.

"My distinguished colleagues, there are a plethora of cases pending in our courts further to the defection of the former lawmakers."

Rt. Hon. Oko-Jumbo emphasised: "All laws, plenary sessions and actions taken by the illegal House members are hereby declared void and a nullity in the eyes of the law by virtue of the judgment of Lord Denning in the celebrated case of MacFoy v UAC (1961) 3 All ER 1169.

"Lord Denning held in that case that you cannot put something on nothing and expect it to stand. Particularly, Lord Denning stated: 'If an act is void, then it is in law a nullity. It is not only bad, but incurably bad. There is no need for an order of court to set it aside. 

"'It is automatically null and void without more ado, though it is sometimes more convenient to have the court declare it to be so'."

Rt. Hon. Oko-Jumbo stated further, that every proceeding which was founded on the activities of the former lawmakers had become 'bad and incurably bad'. 

"You cannot put something on nothing and expect it to stay there. It will collapse", he added.

The new speaker called on the Executive arm, the Judiciary and the general public to disregard every law purportedly enacted by the illegal Assembly members because they all amount to nothing but an exercise in futility.

He said, "Furthermore, this House would want to most respectfully urge and call on His Excellency, the Governor of Rivers State, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, DSSRS, to desist forthwith from further dealings with the 25 former lawmakers, in whatever guise. 

"Those members are merely floating and do not have any landing ground or anywhere to berth their ship since their defection to the All Progressives Congress on the 11th of December, 2023. 

"This House is the legally and constitutionally recognised House of Assembly by virtue of the defection of the other members, and is ready to receive correspondences from and work with His Excellency, the Governor of Rivers State, Sir Siminalayi Fubara. Distinguished colleagues, let me thank you once again. 

"I know I can count on your unalloyed and unwavering support as we work with His Excellency, Sir Siminalayi Fubara in moving our dear Rivers State forward in promoting the progress and welfare of the State."

Speaking to newsmen after the 10am sitting of the House, the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Victor Oko-Jumbo, said he will stay true to his constitutional duties and work assiduously for the growth and development of Rivers people and the State.

"We will sit again, and communicate our proceedings to the public and make sure that we are doing what we ought to do to ensure there is transparency and clarity of leadership of the 10th Legislative Assembly."

Also speaking, the newly elected Leader of the House, Hon. Sokari Goodboy Sokari said: "As the chairman of the government business in the 10th Assembly, as you've heard our speaker say, we will work in line with set goals to achieve synergy with the Executive.

"But away from that, we want to further warn that if His Excellency, the Governor ever have any dealing with those former members, we, the original members of the 10th Assembly, who by the provisions of the Constitution, form the quorum to address legislative business of the day, will have no choice than to raise the gavel, which is to commence impeachment proceeedings against him."

He, therefore, urged the Governor of the State, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, to cooperate and work in tandem with the legitimate members of the 10th Assembly to ensure the delivery of good governance and quality dividends of democracy to Rivers people, who have bestowed their trust and mandate on them at this time.

Meanwhile, the new Speaker was led to the plenary with the original mace of the Rivers State House of Assembly by the Sergeant-at-Arms, David Wariboko, who managed the last sitting of the Amaewhule-led Assembly in the same position.


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