A’Court Quashes Order Barring Amaewhule, 24 Others From Parading As Lawmakers

The Court of Appeal in Abuja has overturned the expulsion of Martin Amaewhule and 24 other members of the Rivers State House of Assembly. 

This decision nullifies an earlier ruling by the Rivers State High Court, which had barred the lawmakers from parading themselves as members of the House.

In May, Justice Charles Wali of the Rivers State High Court issued an ex parte order following a motion brought by Victor Oko Jumbo. 

This order effectively expelled Amaewhule and his colleagues from the Assembly. 

However, on Monday, a three-member panel of the appellate court held that the lower court lacked the jurisdiction to issue such an order.

The appellate court’s ruling was based on Section 272(3) of the Nigerian Constitution, which grants the Federal High Court the exclusive authority to determine whether a seat in a House of Assembly has become vacant. 

The court emphasised that this provision automatically excludes state high courts from having jurisdiction in such matters.

According to the appellate court, any order made without proper jurisdiction is null and void. 

Therefore, the ex parte order issued by the Rivers State High Court was invalidated.

PLATFORM TIMES reports that  this ruling reaffirms the legislative positions of Amaewhule and the 24 other Assembly members, allowing them to continue their duties as lawmakers in Rivers State.

The decision is seen as a significant affirmation of the jurisdictional boundaries set by the Nigerian Constitution, particularly in matters relating to the status of elected officials.


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