Rivers: NASS Appeals High Court Ruling, Warns Police Against Re-Opening Assembly Complex

MEMBERS OF RIVERS HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY SITING ON MOSCOW ROAD, AFTER BEEN STOPPED FROM GAINING  ENTRANCE TO ASSEMBLY COMPLEX BY THE POLICE  IN PORT HARCOURT ON FRIDAY
MEMBERS OF RIVERS HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY SITING ON MOSCOW ROAD, AFTER BEEN STOPPED FROM GAINING ENTRANCE TO ASSEMBLY COMPLEX BY THE POLICE IN PORT HARCOURT ON FRIDAY

The National Assembly has written to the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar asking him to bring the Rivers State police command under control and maintain the status quo in view of the appeal already filed at the appellate court seeking to quash an order of the Federal High Court which declared its take-over of the State House of Assembly’s functions as illegal.

The National Assembly in a letter dated December 12 written by its counsel, Ahmed Raji SAN, informed the IGP that they had already filed two suits to appeal the high court ruling and for stay of execution and as such the police authorities should ensure that the Rivers House of Assembly complex should remain locked in view of plans by the six anti-Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi lawmakers to gain access to the assembly complex and allegedly impeach the governor.

According to the letter, the federal legislators said “We are glad to learn that your officers in Rivers State prevented some members of the Rivers State House of Assembly from sitting in the Parliament today(12/12/13) on the ground that a copy of the judgment has not been presented to the police.

“It thus means that the Judgment of the court has not been executed in any way. Meanwhile, shortly after the Judgment, we filed an appeal along with a Motion for Stay of Execution and an Injunction. We caused the two processes to be served on your office yesterday vide our letter dated 11th December, 2013.

“The implication of the two processes is that effect cannot be given to the Judgment delivered yesterday (11/12/13) until the Motion filed by us is disposed of.

“We are fortified in holding this view by the immortal words of Eso JSC (of Blessed memory) where, in the case of Governor of Lagos vs Ojukwu (1986) INWLR part 18pg. 621 particularly at pg. 634, he said the following:

“They have no right to take the matter into their own hands once the Court was seized of it. The essence of the Rule of Law is that it should never operate under the Rule of force or fear……”

The National Assembly demanded that the status quo should therefore be maintained in Rivers pending the outcome of the cases already filed in courts.

“With the court seized of the Motion for Stay and Injunction, the status quo is to be maintained pending the disposal of the Motion. We will be urging you to be guided accordingly and we also plead with you to give necessary instructions to that effect to your appropriate officers in Rivers State against the rumour that there is a plan to open the parliament for a faction by next Tuesday”, the letter added.

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