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Rivers elders sue Tinubu, Fubara, INEC, others over signed agreement



No fewer than six elders in Rivers have dragged President Bola Tinubu and others to the Federal High Court, Abuja, for allegedly compelling Gov. Siminilaya Fubara to sign what they describe as an unconstitutional agreement.

The plaintiffs, in the process sighted by our reporter are Victor Jumbo, member, Rivers House of Assembly, Sen. Bennett Birabi, Sen. Andrew Uchendu, Rear Admiral O. P. Fingesi, Ann Kio Briggs and Emmanuel Deinma.

According to the plaintiffs, the agreement, signed on Dec. 18, is not only illegal but amounts to usurpation, nullification, and undermining of the extant/binding relevant provisions of the 1999 Constitution.

The plaintiffs held that both the president and the governor do not have the statutory powers to stop the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC), from conducting fresh elections to replace the 27 Rivers lawmakers who defected from the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The plaintiffs asked the court to, among other things, determine whether the president, the governor, and the Rivers assembly have the right to enter into any agreement that has the effect of nullifying or undermining the constitutional/legal potency of the provisions of Section 109(I)(g) and (2) of the constitution.

Listed as defendants in the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/1718/2023 are the President and the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice.
Others are Gov. Fubara, the Rivers Assembly, Speaker of the Rivers Assembly, and the INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu.

It was reported that the court, had only a few days ago, issued an injunction preventing INEC from conducting fresh elections to fill the seats of the defected lawmakers.

The ruling was delivered by Justice Donatus Okorowo following an ex-parte motion moved by the defected lawmakers’ counsel, Mr Peter Onuh.

The court restrained INEC, PDP, and the House of Assembly from declaring the defectors’ seats vacant or withdrawing their Certificates of Return pending the determination of the motion on notice.

Additionally, the court issued an interim injunction restraining the Inspector-General of Police and the Department of State Service (DSS) from denying or withdrawing security details for the lawmakers.

The matter was adjourned until Dec. 28 for the hearing of the motion on notice.

Wandoo Sombo

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