The Federal High Court in Port Harcourt, on Monday, ordered that a suit seeking the National Assembly takeover of legislative functions of the Rivers State House of Assembly be transferred to its Abuja division.
The suit, marked FHC/ PH/MISC/418/2023, was filed by Kingsley Igbaki, and four others.
The Rivers Assembly is being rocked by a crisis, leading to its factionalisation following the move to impeach the governor.
Counsel for the plaintiffs in the suit, Frank Ayebaekipreye, told journalist on the court premises on Monday that his clients wanted the National Assembly to take over the Rivers Assembly’s legislative function to allow for the passage of the state’s 2024 budget.
The lawyer said, “The National Assembly should take over legislative functions of the Rivers Assembly on the grounds that the Rivers State House of Assembly by virtue of the crisis that has eroded the House is unable to sit.
“With the crisis rocking the Rivers State House of Assembly, the likelihood of it ending cannot be ascertained as it stands now because there are a series of litigation pending in court.
“So, on that basis, let the National Assembly take over, pending when the Rivers State House of Assembly is able to unite itself and sit.
“And if this crisis continues, there is a likelihood that Rivers State will not have a budget in the year 2024, because for every budget to be passed to law the state legislature must sign.
“So as it stands now in Rivers, which legislative house would sign the budget into law now that the Rivers State House of Assembly is having a crisis?
“The constitution, under Section 14(4) stated that where there is a crisis or where the state Assembly cannot sit, the National Assembly shall take over the legislative functions of the House. That is why the applicants are here in court.”