Femi Falana explains why Pro-Wike lawmakers Should not return to Rivers State Assembly

Human rights lawyer Femi Falana (SAN) has supported the decision of a Rivers High Court to suspend 25 members of the Rivers State House of Assembly who switched allegiance from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

In an interview with Channels TV on Sunday night, Falana emphasized that the assembly members have forfeited their seats. “The 25 lawmakers who defected have lost their seats. They have lost their rights to remain members of the assembly,” Falana stated.

A new crisis emerged in the Rivers State Assembly when some lawmakers elected Victor Oko-Jumbo as the speaker. Oko-Jumbo, representing the Bonny constituency, was chosen by lawmakers loyal to Governor Siminalayi Fubara, although the exact number of those who elected him is unclear.

Gistlegit reports that the court has restrained these members, who are loyal to FCT Minister Nyesom Wike, from acting as lawmakers until the hearing on the matter scheduled for May 29.

Falana also pointed out the necessity of a quorum for legislative activities, including the election of a speaker. “According to the Constitution, the House must form a quorum to conduct its proceedings, and this is clearly defined,” Falana explained. “For the impeachment of a governor, a two-thirds majority is required. This is very clear.”

Referring to a Supreme Court ruling in the case of Adetunde and the Labour Party, Falana highlighted that legislators cannot switch parties and retain their seats unless there is a division within their party. “Today, the PDP is united,” he added.

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