July 21, 2024

An Appeal Court in Port Harcourt, the capital of Rivers State, has issued a significant directive in the ongoing crisis involving the Rivers State House of Assembly.

The appellate court ordered the 27 Rivers State House of Assembly members loyal to the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nyesom Wike, to maintain status quo.

The court gave the order at a virtual ruling held via Zoom on Friday on two Motions filed by Pro-Wike’s embattled Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Martins Amaewhule and 26 other lawmakers who defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC) in December 2023.

They were appealing against an injunction from the Rivers State High Court that barred them from functioning as lawmakers, arguing that their purported defection was invalid.

During Friday’s proceedings, the Appeal Court granted several requests from the appellants, including permission to compile and submit the Records of Appeal, and acknowledged the filing of their Brief of Argument.

The court also expedited the hearing process while halting further proceedings at the High Court.

However, the court declined to suspend the execution of the interim order from the State High Court, citing the premature resolution of the appeal.

Instead, it directed the appellants to maintain the current status quo until the appeal is heard. The respondents were given 72 hours to file their briefs, and the court scheduled the next hearing for June 20.

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