JUST IN: Rivers elders drag Tinubu, Fubara, INEC, others to court

December 23, 2023

  • By Ikechukwu Nnochiri, Abuja

The political crisis in Rivers State has assumed a new twist, as six elders have dragged President Bola Tinubu to the Federal High Court in Abuja, for allegedly compelling Governor Siminilaya Fubara to enter into an unconstitutional agreement.

The plaintiffs, led by a member of the Rivers State House of Assembly representing Bonny State Constituency, Victor Jumbo, are Senator Bennett Birabi, Senator Andrew Uchendu, Rear Admiral O. P. Fingesi, Ann Kio Briggs and Emmanuel Deinma.

They maintained that the said agreement, which was signed on December 18, was not only illegal but amounted to an usurpation, nullification, and undermining of the extant/binding relevant provisions of the 1999 Constitution, as amended.

Consequently, they prayed the court to, among other things, determine whether President Tinubu, Governor Fubara, and the Rivers State Assembly have the rights and are entitled to enter into any agreement that has the effect of nullifying or undermining the constitutional/legal potency of the provisions of Section 109(I)(g) and (2) of the 1999 Constitution, as amended.

They contended that neither President Tinubu nor Governor Fubara has the statutory powers to stop the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, from conducting fresh elections to replace the 27 Rivers State lawmakers.

The said lawmakers defected from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to the All Progressives Congress, APC.

Meanwhile, President Tinubu was cited as the first defendant in the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/1718/2023.

Others are the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Governor Fubara, the Rivers Assembly, Speaker of the Rivers State Assembly, and the INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu.

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