Martins Amaehwule, the speaker of the 27-member Rivers State House of Assembly loyal to Minister of FCT, Nyesom Wike has described all actions taken by the four-lawmakers loyal to Governor Sim Fubara as nothing more than a family meeting discussion that does not carry the constitutional weight of state legislative action.
Recall that the four-member Rivers State House of Assembly led by Edison Ehie had passed the budget of the state in less than 24 hours after the governor submitted it to them in a hall within the Government House on Thursday after the government demolished the state assembly’s complex. The faction had also declared the seats of the 27 lawmakers vacant after they defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
But speaking on Sunday at a dedication service and stakeholders meeting of APC in Port Harcourt, Amaehwule said the constitution was clear on how the assembly can have legitimacy in its action, insisting that since the Ehie-led faction did not meet the constitutional quorum, they lacked the legitimacy.
“What the governor is doing is against the law. We hear that some four persons gathered and are meeting somewhere we don’t know what they are doing.
“Rivers people should know it, today that the House of Assembly of any state is defined by the Constitution and the only way you can reconvene the House you need to have a quorum and quorum is 11. If you are not up to 11, anything you are doing is a family meeting, anything they told you they have done, ignore them it’s null and void, the law is clear about it.
“Anything you are doing, you must do it in line with the dictates of the constitution and the standing orders of the Rivers House of Assembly. We are 27, they are just four; so whenever we meet, who is meeting?” he said.
Speaking on the demolition of the assembly complex, Amaehwule said important documents, files, archives and personal belongings of the lawmakers and staff of the Assembly were destroyed during the demolition of the complex.
He said that the governor has stopped funding the assembly and pointed out that the Assembly Finance Management Autonomy Bill will address the issues of withholding the funds belonging to the assembly.
“Currently, the governor has stopped funding the Rivers State House of Assembly but once the bill is consented what that means is that funding will come straight from consolidated revenue of the state”, he said.
He said that the 27 members of the assembly defected to APC because of the crisis in Rivers PDP and the love President Bola Tinubu has demonstrated for Rivers State through the appointment of Rivers indigenes and some projects initiated by the present administration.
Recall that the Rivers State Commissioner of Information and Communication, Joe Johnson had said that the assembly was demolished because of structural defects