Rivers Assembly crisis: Amaewhule, his former deputy risk jail term

A Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, has been asked to commit the former Speaker, Rivers State House of Assembly, Martin Amaewhule and his deputy, Dumle Maol to prison over alleged refusal to obey an order of the court.

Already, the new Speaker, Edison has filed Form 48, which is a notice of consequence of disobedience of Court Order against the former speaker and his deputy.

The applicants in the suit are the Rivers State House of Assembly, and the Speaker, Ehie Edison, while the alleged contemnors are Amaewhule, (former Speaker), Maol (former Deputy Speaker), Inspector General of Police, Director, Department of State Security Services, Rivers State, and the Commissioner of Police, Rivers State.

Martin Amaewhule, former speaker, Rivers State House of Assembly

The applicants in suit number FHC/PHC/CS/240/2023 alleged that the respondents disobeyed the order of the court made on November 7, 2023, which ordered parties not to take any step concerning the subject matter of the suit before the court.

The new Speaker, Edison in the processes, accused the former Speaker of invading the Rivers State House of Assembly and purportedly holding a sitting of the House in flagrant violation of the order of the court for parties to maintain status.

The Form 48 which is entitled ‘Notice of Consequences of Disobedience of order of court’ is dated November 22, 2023, and signed by the Registrar of the Federal High Court, Port Harcourt Judicial Division.

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The alleged contemnors were warned that they would be liable to be committed to prison unless they obey the order of the court.

It will be recalled that Justice Phoebe Ayuba of the court upon the application by Edison and the Rivers State House of Assembly issued an order directing parties to the Rivers Assembly crisis to maintain the status and not to take any step concerning the subject matter of the suit until the determination of the motion on notice.

The case has been adjourned to November 27, 2023.

The order reads, “That the prayers as stated on the motion paper are denied.

“That an order is made, directing the plaintiffs/applicants to put the respondents on notice forthwith. “That an order is, however, made, directing that all parties on record respect the court and should not take any step concerning the subject matter, since the matter is already before this court — sub judice.”

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