There was confusion and disquiet, yesterday, as two Federal High Courts, in Abuja, issued conflicting orders on the political crisis in Rivers State.
One court nullifies 2024 budget, another orders parties to maintain status quo.
Earlier in the day, a Federal High Court nullified the Rivers 2024 Appropriation Bill of N800.3 billion that had been passed by a faction of the House of Assembly, led by former Speaker, Edison Ehie, and signed into law by Governor Siminalayi Fubara. It ordered the governor to re-present the budget to the Mr. Martin Amaewhule-led House.
However, a few hours later, another court ordered all the parties in the matter to maintain status quo, pending the determination of an ex-parte motion that six elders of the state filed to stop Governor Fubara from re-presenting the 2024 budget before the Amaewhule-led faction of the Assembly.
Justice J. O. Abdulmalik ordered substituted service of the application on all the defendants, and adjourned the matter till February 28, for hearing.
The plaintiffs in the matter led by a member of the Rivers State House of Assembly representing Bonny State Constituency, Mr. Victor Jumbo, are Senator Bennett Birabi, Senator Andrew Uchendu, Rear Admiral O. Fingesi, Ann Kio Briggs and Emmanuel Deinma.
They had through their team of lawyers led by Mr. Olukayode Ajulo, SAN, prayed the court to declare the seats of 27 lawmakers in the state that defected from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to the All Progressives Congress, APC, vacant.