A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, on Monday, nullified and set aside the presentation and passage of the Rivers State 2024 Budget by a four-member state assembly.
Justice James Omotoso also ordered Governor Siminalayi Fubara to re-present the budget to the legally constituted House of Assembly led by Speaker Martin Amaewhule.
Justice Omotoso also held that the Governor has no power to withhold funds belonging to the Rivers State House of Assembly.
The judge restrained Governor Fubara from frustrating the sitting of the House of Assembly under Amaewhule or interfering in its affairs.
The judge further declared null and void the Governor’s redeployment of the clerk and deputy clerk.
The redeployment of the Clerk and the Deputy Clerk done by the Governor was declared null and void and was set aside.
The Inspector General of Police was also ordered to immediately give adequate security to the Speaker and legislators loyal to former governor Nyesom Wike.
Justice Omotoso ordered the Clerk and the Deputy Clerk to resume office immediately and unhindered.
The National Assembly was also barred from taking over the Rivers State House of Assembly or accepting or treating any request from Governor Fubara.
The Governor was ordered to release all monies standing in the credit of the House of Assembly to Martin Amaewhule.
Recall that a frosty relationship between Governor Fubara and his predecessor and Minister of the FCT, Nyesom Wike, fractionalized the Rivers State House of Assembly.
Amid the fracas, Fubara sidelined the Amaewhule-led faction of the House, which was loyal to Wike, and presented the Rivers State 2024 Appropriation Bill before the Ehie-led faction, which was loyal to him.
However, following the intervention of President Bola Tinubu, both Fubara and Wike signed a peace pact that included the recognition of Amaewhule as the rightful Speaker of the Assembly.