At its 84th Legislative Sitting, Monday, 30th October, 2023, the Rivers State House of Assembly, resolved to served a Notice of Impeachment on the Governor of the State, Sir Siminialayi Fubara; removed the Leader of the House, Rt. Hon. Edison Ehie, and suspended four honourable Members; Hon. Sokari Goodboy Sokari, representing Ahoada West, Hon.Adolphus Oruibienimigha, representing Opobo/Nkoro, Hon. Victor Oko Jumbo, representing Bonny and Rt. Hon. Edison Ehie, representing Ahoada East constituency II as Members of the House.
Presenting the Notice of Impeachment, the Hon. Member, representing Omuma constituency, Hon. Sylvanus Nwankwo stated that the notice of impeachment was brought pursuant to Section 188 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended, adding that the impeachment notice is predicated on gross misconduct in the performance of the functions of the office of the Governor.
The Impeachment Notice, and Motions for removal from office of the House Leader, and the suspension of four Hon. Members were signed by 24 Members of the House.
The Speaker, Rt Hon. Martin Chike Amaewhule condemned the dastardly act of burning the hallowed Chamber of the Assembly by some misfits, stressing that the House will not condone any indecorous, rascally and irresponsible conduct from any Member. He said the House would follow the constitutional provisions as enshrined in Section 188 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended.
Hon. Edison Emerges Speaker, Pledges Fairness
The new Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Ehie Edison has expressed his unwavering commitment to the people of the state, and pledged to uphold the principles of fairness and justice.
Speaking during a press briefing held on Monday, October 30, 2023, the new Assembly Speaker also promised to ensure that the rule of law prevails in all dealings with people of the state.
Rt. Hon. Ehie Edison said the development came following the unanimous vote of 26 Assembly members, marking the beginning of his tenure as the head of the legislative body.
He made a solemn pledge not to betray his colleagues, constituents, or the broader community of Rivers State.
Furthermore, the new Speaker affirmed his dedication to maintaining the independence of the Rivers State House of Assembly, highlighting the importance of mutual respect between the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government.
Edison assured his fellow honorable members that they would receive everything that is constitutionally due to them, while also addressing the issue of the suspension of certain honorable members and pledged to provide them with a fair hearing.
He said that the Committee on Information is tasked with publishing the names of the suspended members, while the Committee on Petitions was urged to ensure a fair and equitable hearing process.
The Speaker announced that the House had adjourned sine die due to a notice of an indefinite strike served by the parliamentary association in Abuja. As a result, no further legislative sessions could take place until this issue was resolved.
Regarding the suspension of certain members, Edison stated that those affected have the option to seek recourse in the court of law. He emphasized that this was the resolution of the House on the matter.
The new Speaker expressed gratitude to his colleagues and affirmed his willingness to serve the people of Rivers State whenever called upon. His promises of fairness, justice, and commitment to the rule of law underscore his vision for his tenure as Speaker.
..Speaker’s Official Statement
I hope this message finds you in good health and high spirits. Today, I stand before you as the newly elected Speaker of the 10th Assembly of Rivers State House of Assembly, humbled by the trust you have placed in me to lead our great state.
It is with a heavy heart and a deep sense of responsibility that I address you regarding recent events in our esteemed Assembly. As your chosen representatives, we have a sacred duty to uphold the values of integrity, accountability, and dedication to public service.
Regrettably, it has come to my attention that some members of our Assembly have fallen short of these principles. In light of their actions, which undermine the trust and faith you have bestowed upon us, I have taken the difficult decision to suspend the defaulted members from their legislative duties.
Rest assured, this decision was not made lightly. We are committed to ensuring that the Rivers State House of Assembly continues to be a beacon of hope and progress for all our people. We will work tirelessly to restore your trust in our institution and fulfill the promises we made to you.
I urge you, my fellow citizens, to remain steadfast in your support for a united and prosperous Rivers State. Together, we will overcome challenges and build a future where honesty, accountability, and transparency prevail.
Thank you for your unwavering trust and understanding. Let us move forward, hand in hand, towards a brighter tomorrow.
Rt Hon Ehie Edison, Esq, DSSRS
Speaker, 10th Assembly
Rivers State House of Assembly
Gov. Fubara Alleges Assassinate Attempt Condemns Burning Of Assembly Complex
Governor of Rivers State, Sir Siminalayi Fubara has foiled attempt by some compromised police officers who shot at him with the intention to kill while he visited to assess the extent of damages done as aftermath of bombing of the State House of Assembly complex by some hoodlums.
Sir Fubara who had visited the complex, greeted by well meaning Rivers youths on Monday, described as unfortunate the attempt by some disgruntled persons to forcefully take over control of the assembly and condemned the burning of sections of the building of such important public institution built with taxpayers money.
“The truth is that, everybody who knows me know that I am a peaceful person. I can never ever, even if I am aware that there is a plot to impeach me for whatever reason be part of such destruction.
“I am worried that a facility like this that we used taxpayers money to build will be destroyed for selfish reason just to please somebody. From what I have seen, even the security is compromised because they were shooting at me directly. The DC operations was shooting at me,” the governor emphasised.
Governor Fubara described as null and void any illegal legislative actions that has been taken by some members who held a purported plenary session and said: “let it be on record, whoever masterminded the attack at the assembly is trying to divert attention.”
Addressing Rivers youths, Governor Fubara commended them for standing up to protect the interest of Rivers State and said he is not scared about impeachment but such action had to be properly explained and justified.
“If Siminalayi Fubara is impeached, I won’t be the first, neither will I be the last. But what is important is that any attempt that is not justified will be resisted. Let them come out and tell Rivers people the offence that I have committed to warrant impeachment.
“But my happiness this morning is that the people of Rivers State represented by everyone of you here is with us. I can go home and sleep. Let me assure Rivers people that we will continue to defend them, protect you people and ensure that they will enjoy the dividends of democracy.”
…Abe Condemns Political Unrest
Former representative of the Rivers South East Senatorial District at the 8th National Assembly, Senator Magnus Ngei Abe has condemned the current political imbroglio in Rivers state.
The senator in a statement on his Facebook account on Monday titled: ‘I CONDEMN THE ONGOING UNREST IN RIVERS STATE’ insisted that there can only be one Governor of a state at a time according to the Constitution of the federal Republic of Nigeria.
The statement reads: “In as much as I have chosen to remain silent on the Political issues in Rivers State, let me make four simple statements:
“As seen in trending videos in the media space today(Monday), the direct gun shots and tear-gassing on the person of the Governor of Rivers State, His Excellency, Simialayi Fubara, who is the Chief Security Officer of the state, was wrong. This is beyond politics, and I publicly condemn it”.
Abe a former minority leader of the Rivers state House of Assembly between (1999-2003), further stated that : “As a former Minority leader of the Rivers State House of Assembly, I am particularly saddened by the destruction of our beloved House of Parliament, and a valuable state asset: this is unacceptable” he added.
He went further to say, “I believe that in the interest of the state, the Nigerian Police needs to have a deeper conversation with the Governor who is the current Chief Security Officer and the only Rivers man that currently enjoys constitutional immunity”.
The Senator submitted that there can be only one Governor of the state at a time and therefore, “whatever our political differences, we must look for ways to resolve them without jeopardising the peace and security of our fellow citizens”.
NGOs Urges Parties To Exercise Restraint
The Rivers Indigenous NGO’s and Civil Society Network (RINGOCS) have expressed sadness over the recent political crisis in the State that have degenerated into open confrontation and alleged burning of a section of the Rivers State House of Assembly Complex during night hours of yesterday.
RINGOCS which notes that the cost of violence is threatening to the operation of democratic norms and has resulted in the disruption of economic and social activities around the State House of Assembly complex and its environs, is calling on all parties involved to shield their sword, give peace a chance in the interest of the State and well-being of citizens.
Tombari Dumka-Kote, Chairman of RINGOCS/Founder, Centre for Justice, Empowerment & Development (C4J), stated this in reaction to the outbreak of violence at the Rivers State House of Assembly, sack of some political appointees, and the subsequent attempt to impeach the Executive Governor of the State, His Excellency, Governor Siminalaye Fubara by members of the State Assembly.
Dumka-Kote while condenming the burning of a section of the multi-billion Naira State House of Assembly complex by suspected political thugs, called on heads of security agencies in the State to remain impartial and immediately swing into action, ensuring adequate protection of lives and property of residents and business interests in the State.
‘Impeaching an elected official of government that has failed to perform or has engaged in constitutional breaches is not out of place in a democracy. But it is important to state that all such impeachment processes must follow layed down rules, and carried out in a manner that conforms with democratic norms and principles and not disrupt the activities of government or private businesses’, the rights activist stated.
While calling on elites, IPAC, political, traditional and religious leaders not to keep mum on the disturbing situation before it gets out of hand and consume the State, Dumka-Kote expressed readiness of RINGOCS to partner other Stakeholders in amicably resolving the current political crisis in the State.
Elder Statesman, Edwin Clark Sues For Peace
I have been greatly disturbed by the reported developments in Rivers State in the last 24 hours. I have been reliably informed that there is a plot to unlawfully remove the Governor of Rivers State, His Excellency, Siminalaye Fubara, who has spent only about 5 months in office.
I understand the sad episode is being orchestrated by the immediate past Governor of Rivers State and the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Mr. Nyesom Wike. And that the intention is to remove the Governor, force his deputy, Professor Ngozi Odu to resign, and install the Speaker of the House of Assembly, another Ikwerre person as the governor of the State.
Let me warn strongly, we won’t allow that to happen!
President Bola Tinubu must call Nyesom Wike and the security agencies in Rivers State to order, to avert any untold crisis in Rivers State.
Last night, the hallowed chamber of the Rivers State House of Assembly was burnt, in what apparently is part of the plot to destabilize the State.
The Governor was tear-gassed and was even threatened with being shot at when he visited the Assembly Complex after the incident, to assess the level of damage.
We are not in a barbaric state where people can do whatever they like; we are in a democracy and the tenets of constitutional democracy must be upheld by all Rivers people have suffered enough political crises, the state should not be allowed to degenerate again into its dark past, and the Niger Delta Region by extension. The consequences would be dire for the stability of the region and the National Economy.
What has Governor Fubara done wrong? Refusing to be further “remote controlled”?
Mr. Nyesom Wike was Governor for 8 years, nobody hassled him. He governed Rivers State like an Emperor, he did not show any iota of respect and regard to anyone, not even those who imposed him on Rivers people in 2015.
President Tinubu must act fast and avert the unfolding crisis in Rivers State in the interest of his administration, the nation’s democracy, and the Country at large.
A WORD IS ENOUGH FOR THE WISE!