Rivers Assembly Crisis: Amaewhule, Former Deputy may be sent to prison

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A Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt has been asked to commit the former Speaker, Rivers House of Assembly, Hon. Martin Chike Amaewhule and his deputy, Rt. Hon. Dumle Maol to prison over alleged refusal to obey an order of the court.

Already, the new Speaker, Rt. Hon. Edison has filed Form 48, which is a notice of consequence of disobedience of Court Order against the former speaker and his deputy.

The Applicants in the suit are the Rivers State House of Assembly, and the Speaker, RT. HON. (Barr) Ehie Ogerenye Edison, while the alleged contemnors are Rt.Hon. Martin Chike Amaewhule, (Former Speaker, Rivers House of Assembly), Rt.Hon. Dumle Maol , (Former Deputy Speaker, Rivers State House of Assembly) the Inspector General of Police, the Director, Department of State Security Services, Rivers State, and the Commissioner of Police, Rivers State.

The Applicants in suit number FHC/PHC/CS/240/2023 alleged that the Respondents disobeyed the order of the Court made on the 7th day of November, 2023 which ordered parties not to take any step concerning the subject matter of the suit before the court.

The new Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Edison in the processes, accused the former Speaker of invading the Rivers State House of Assembly and purportedly holding a sitting of the House in flagrant violation of the order of the court for parties to maintain status.

The Form 48 which is titled ‘Notice of Consequences of Disobedience of Order of Court’ is dated the 22nd day of November, 2023 and signed by the Registrar of the Federal High Court, Port Harcourt Judicial Division.

The alleged contemnors were warned that they would be liable to be committed to prison unless they obey the order of the Court.

It would be recalled that Justice Phoebe Ayuba of the Federal High Court upon the application of the new Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Ehie Edison and the Rivers State House of Assembly issued an order directing all parties to the Rivers Assembly crisis to maintain the status and not to take any step concerning the subject matter of the suit until the determination of the motion on notice.

The case has been adjourned to the 27th of November, 2023

The order reads, “That the prayers as stated on the Motion paper are denied.

“That an Order is made _ directing the Plaintiffs/Applicants to put the Respondents on Notice forthwith.

“That an Order is however, made, directing that all parties on record respect the Court and should not take any step concerning the subject matter, since the matter is already before this Court — sub judice”

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