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HomePoliticsRIVERS POLITICAL CRISIS: PRO WIKE LAWMAKERS LOSES AT APPEAL COURT- From- Chukwudi...

RIVERS POLITICAL CRISIS: PRO WIKE LAWMAKERS LOSES AT APPEAL COURT- From- Chukwudi Ejimofor, P.H

The Appeal Court sitting in port Harcourt, has refused to grant the request of pro-Wike lawmakers to stay the execution of the order baring them from parading as lawmakers after their sack.

The Court of Appeal in Port Harcourt at a virtual hearing today via Zoom gave its Ruling on two Motions filed by Martins Amaewhule and 27 others defected lawmakers to All Progressive Congress (APC), challenging the order of injunction granted by the Rivers State High Court restraining them from acting as lawmakers.

The Court in Ruling on the first Motion, granted the Appellants’ prayers for leave to compile and transmit the Records of Appeal, deeming the Appellants’ Brief of Argument as filed, accelerated hearing and a stay of further proceedings at the High Court.

The Court of Appeal however refused to grant the prayer for stay of execution and setting aside the interim order of the Lower Court as there is a presumption of correctness of an order of a Court. It held that granting same would tantamount to determining the appeal at this stage. The Court went on to order that the present status quo should be maintained pending the hearing of the Appeal.

Ruling on the 2nd Motion which was brought to set aside the interlocutory injunction of the Lower Court, the Court of Appeal also refuse the prayer, and reiterated that the ‘present’ status quo should be maintained.

The Respondents are to filed their Briefs within 72 hours of being served. The case has been adjourned to 20/6/24 for Hearing of the Appeal.

Below is the Court Extract;

IN THE COURT OF APPEAL

IN THE PORT HARCOURT JUDICIAL DIVISION HOLDEN AT PORT HARCOURT ON FRIDAY THE 14TH DAY OF JUNE, 2024 BEFORE THEIR LORDSHIPS;

JIMI OLUKAYODE BADA – JUSTICE COURT OF APPEAL.

HAMMA AKAWU BARKA – JUSTICE COURT OF APPEAL.

BALKISU BELLO ALIYU – JUSTICE COURT OF APPEAL.

APPEAL NO: CA/PH/198/2024
BETWEEN (APPEALANTS) :
1. HON. MARTIN CHIKE AMAEWHULE.
2. HON. DUMLE MAOL.
3. HON. MAJOR JACK.
4. HON. FRANKLIN UCHENNA NWABOCHI.
5. HON. CHRISTOPHER KAGBANG OFIKS.
6. HON. AZERU OPARA.
7. HON. ENEMI ALABO GEORGE.
8. HON. GRANVILLE TEKENARI WELLINGTON.
9. HON. NGBAR BERNARD.
10. HON. JOHN DOMINIC IDERIMA.
11. HON. QUEEN UWUMA TONY WILLIAMS.
12. HON. LOOLO ISAIAH OPUENDE.
13. HON. ABBEY PETER.
14. HON. IGWE-OBEY AFORJI.
15. HON. JUSTINA EMEJI.
16. HON. IGNATIUS ONWUKA.
17. HON. CHIMEZIE.
18. HON. LEMCHI PRINCE NYECHE
19. HON. BARILE NWAKOH.
20. HON. EMILIA LUCKY AMADI.
21. HON. NKEMJIKA EZEKWE
22. HON. DAVIDS ARNOLD. OKOBIRIARI.
23. HON. NWANKWO SYLVANUS.
24. HON. GERALD OFORJI.
25. HON. WAMI SOLOMON.

AND (RESPONDENTS)
1. RT. HON. VICTOR OKO JUMBO (Speaker, Rivers State House of Assembly)
2. HON. SOKARI GOODBOY SOKARI.
3. HON. ORUBIENIMIGHA ADOLPHUS TIMOTHY.
4. THE GOVERNOR OF RIVERS STATE.
5. THE ATTORNEY-GENERAL OF
RIVERS STATE.
6. THE HONOURABLE CHIEF JUDGE OF RIVERS STATE.

PRAYERS SOUGHT BY THE APPELLANTS:
By this application filed vide a motion on notice brought pursuant to Order 6 Rule 1, Order 19 Rule 1 and 2 of the Court of Appeal Rules, 2021 and Section 15 of the Court of Appeal Act, 2004; the Appellant/Applicant prayed for the following orders:

1. An order granting the Appellants leave to complete and transmit the record of appeal in this appeal.

2. An Order deeming the record of appeal compiled and transmitted by the appellants and
filed in this appeal as the record of appeal in
this appeal.

3. An order accelerating the hearing of this appeal.

4. An order abridging the time allowed by the rules
of this honourable court for parties to file their
briefs of argument in this appeal.

5. An order staying the execution of the exparte orders of interim injunction made on the 10th day of May, 2024 in suit no: PHC/1512/CS/2024 between Rt. Hon. Victor Oko Jumbo and Ors. Vs. Hon. Martin Chike Amaewhule and Ors. By the Rivers State High Court sitting at Port Harcourt coram; Honourable Justice C. N. Wali pending the hearing and determination of this appeal.

6. An order of injunction restraining the Respondents, their servants and or agents from giving effect to, implementing or enforcing whatsoever manner the decision of the Rivers State High Court contained in the ruling delivered on 10th May, 2024 in suit no: PHC/1512/CS/2024 between Rt. Hon. Victor Oko Jumbo and Ors. Vs. Hon. Martin Chike Amaewhule and Ors. By the Rivers State High Court sitting at Portharcourt coram; Honourable Justice C. N. Wali pending the hearing and determination of this appeal.

7. An order staying further proceedings in suit no: PHC/1512/CS/2024 between Rt. Hon. Victor Oko Jumbo and Ors. Vs. Hon. Martin Chike Amaewhule and Ors. By the Rivers State High Court sitting at Portharcourt coram; Honourable Justice C. N. Wali pending the hearing and determination of this appeal.

8. An order of injunction restraining the 1st, 2nd and 3rd respondents from parading or holding themselves out in any manner whatsoever as members of the Rivers State House of Assembly pending the hearing and determination of this appeal.

9. An order of injunction restraining the 1st respondent from parading or holding himself out as the speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly pending the hearing and
determination of this appeal.

10. An order setting aside the purported meetings,
sittings, proceedings and or deliberations of the purported Rivers State House of Assembly purportedly presided over by the 1st Respondent with only the 2nd and 3rd Respondents in attendance as members.

11. An order setting aside all actions, steps, decisions and or resolutions of the purported Rivers State House of Assembly purportedly presided over by the 1st Respondent.

PRAYERS GRANTED BY THE COURT

• PRAYER 1.
An order granting the Appellants leave to complete and transmit the record of appeal in this appeal.

• PRAYER 2.
An Order deeming the record of appeal compiled and transmitted by the appellants and filed in this appeal as the record of appeal in this appeal.

• PRAYER 3.
An order accelerating the hearing of this appeal.

• PRAYER 4.
An order abridging the time allowed by the rules of this honourable court for parties to file their briefs of argument in this appeal.

• PRAYER7.
An order staying further proceedings in suit no: PHC/1512/CS/2024 between Rt. Hon. Victor Oko Jumbo and Ors. Vs. Hon. Martin Chike Amaewhule and Ors. By the Rivers State High Court sitting at Portharcourt coram; Honourable Justice C. N. Wali pending the hearing and determination of this appeal.

The Court of Appeal did not grant PRAYERS 5,6,8-11. The Court of Appeal rather held that parties are to maintain THE PRESENT STATUS QUO pending the determination of the appeal before the court.

The Court specifically held thus:
“I have looked at the peculiar nature of the instant case, and do agree that guided by the decisions of Ediru vs. Tijjani (2024) 5NWLR (pt. 1931) 393 @ 416, and pursuant to the stipulations of Order 4 Rule 4, it is just that parties halt all hostilities until the determination of the Appeal before this court.

In consequence therefore, all parties are ordered to maintain the present status quo pending the determination of the appeal before the court. I have equally studied prayers 6, 8-11, prayed for by the Applicants.

A critical study of the prayers deals with the substance of the issues on appeal, and dealing or granting the same will be tantamount to determining the issues on appeal at this interlocutory stage, which this court will decline to do.

The conclusion is that the application succeeds in part. Prayers 1,2,3,4 and 7 are granted, while all other prayers stand not granted.

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