Gov Fubara Threatens Fire, Brimstone

…Moves To Probe Wike Administration

Governor Siminalayi Fubara of Rivers State is bracing to probe the eight-year rule of the immediate past governor of the state, Nyesom Wike.

Though the dirty fight between Wike and his hand-picked successor is responsible for the emerging development, some concerned watchers say there is not much to show for the trillions of naira that flowed into the state other than bridges during the Wike years.

Already, former National Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Uche Secondus, a prince, is crusading for Wike to render an account.

Secondus wants   Wike to account for $300 million he allegedly collected from NNPC for Ogoni Oil wells.

The PDP chieftain who was suspended from the party is also asking for the cash refund Saipem, an oil and gas company made, and probe of Wike’s eight-year tenure of which over N4.00 trillion was realised.

The now battle-ready Fubara on Monday announced the plan of his administration to set up a panel to probe previous administrations, including that of the immediate past of Nyesom Wike.

Before now, Fubara has been the ‘fall guy’ in the hot ace-off with Wike. He made the plan public after swearing in Dagogo Iboroma, as the Attorney General of the state.

The governor expressed pessimism that the lingering political crisis rocking the state cannot be resolved anytime soon.

The governor is accusing his political antagonists of deliberately sabotaging his administration while he was hopeful that the issue in the state will be resolved amicably.

The now combat-ready Fubara has vowed to make tough decisions, no matter how his politics goes and the public will perceive his upcoming decisions.

He has also taken on the former Attorney General, Zacchaeus Adangor, SAN, and his counterpart in the Ministry of Works, Alabo George-Kelly.

“The former attorney general alongside other critics of my administration have been sabotaging the progress of the state government by filing nolle prosequi against the interest of the state”, Fubara says.

In another development, a prominent pro-democracy and human rights activist, Femi Falana, SAN, says the pro-Wike ‘lawmakers’ have lost their positions.

According to him, members of the state House of Assembly who cross-carpeted to All Progressives Congress (APC) from PDP have lost their positions in the lawmaking chamber.

Twenty-six state legislators loyal to Wike defected to APC in the wake of the political conflict between him and Governor Fubara.

Falana, who was speaking on Channels Television, said the lawmakers will be removed from their seats for transitioning to APC.

“Unless you can show and demonstrate that there is division in a political party that sponsored your election, you cannot remain in any legislative arm if you decamp to another party.

“The whole idea is that the constitution set out to ban political prostitution on the part of legislators”, Falana said.

He also pointed out that there is a court order restraining 25 of the lawmakers from representing themselves as legislators in the state, as well as prohibiting the speaker from identifying himself as the speaker of the house.

“It may be very difficult to persuade the court to allow them to remain in the legislative house unless they are prepared to go back to the people and have their mandate renewed by the people.

“The Supreme Court made this clear in the case of Adetunde and the Labour Party, that you cannot decamp and then remain a member of a legislative house in Nigeria unless you can show that there is a division in your party. It doesn’t mean a division in a local government or a state. It has to be on the national level. That is the position of the court”, he added.

A Port Harcourt High Court granted an interim injunction restraining pro-Wike speaker of the state House of Assembly, Martin Amaewhule, and 24 other members from parading themselves as legislators.

The court directive prohibits them from convening or participating in any official meetings at the Assembly premises.

The court’s decision stems from an ex parte order filed against the pro-Wike lawmakers by pro-Fubara Speaker, Victor Oko Jumbo, and three others.

The interim injunction declares the seats of the 1st to 25th defendants vacant pending further legal proceedings.

The court issued a restraining order, prohibiting Governor Fubara and the Chief Judge, who are the 26th and 28th defendants in the suit, from engaging with Amaewhule and his 25 loyalists.

This action is due to the defendants’ defection from PDP to APC on December 13, 2023.

The court also directed Amaewhule and the others to hand over all official documents within seven days. The case is adjourned until May 29 for a motion on notice.

The state House of Assembly has been embroiled in a crisis since last year which has seen the House polarised into two, with some loyal to Wike, and others to Fubara.

While the members loyal to Wike were led by Amaewhule as speaker, others loyal to Fubara were led by Edison Ehie as their speaker. The governor later appointed Ehie as his chief of staff, leading to his resignation.

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