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Rivers Crisis: PDP Rejects Court Decision, Insists 27 Lawmakers Are No Longer Party Members




Court Dismisses Lawsuits Attempting To Nullify PDP’s Ward Congresses In Edo

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State has announced that the 27 state House of Assembly members, headed by Martin Amaewhule, are no longer party members.

Naija News recalls that due to rift between Governor Siminalayi Fubara and his predecessor Nyesom Wike, the 27 members of the state House of Assembly abandoned the PDP for the APC in December 2023.

The lawmakers, loyal to Wike, the current Minister of the FCT, defected amidst a plot to impeach Governor Fubara.

Governor Fubara stated on May 6, 2024, that the Amaewhule-led group of lawmakers “do not exist anymore in the eyes of the law,” emphasizing that they are not recognized as assembly members.

The governor and other stakeholders argued that the lawmakers’ defection was illegal, emphasizing that no crisis within the PDP justified their departure.

Governor Fubara’s spokesperson, Chukwudi Nelson, announced on May 9 that Victor Oko-Jumbo, from Bonny State Constituency, had been chosen as the factional speaker of the assembly.

Thereafter, the governor dismissed the 27 Amaewhule-led lawmakers, insisting on the legal recognition of only the Oko-Jumbo-led faction.

However, a Rivers State High Court on Monday ruled that the embattled lawmakers are still members of the PDP, emphasizing that their seats cannot be declared vacant.

The Court, in its ruling, dismissed a suit filed by Wosa Amadi and three others that sought to declare the seats of the 27 lawmakers vacant following their defection to the APC.

Speaking to DAILY POST on Tuesday, Rivers PDP Spokesman, Sydney Gbara, denied that the 27 lawmakers are still members of the party, insisting they no longer belong to the PDP.

Gbara said, “They are no longer members of the PDP. These are people who had already announced on the floor of the assembly during a plenary that they have left the PDP for the APC and they did a public show to that effect.

“It was a function covered by national television and it is everywhere on social media. They were duly received by the APC caretaker chairman, Tony Okocha, who welcomed them into the party and ever since then, the lawmakers have been participating in all APC activities.

“How did they now turn around overnight and claim that they are still PDP members? They have left our party long ago and we have moved on without them.

“We are not talking about whether they have records or they don’t have records in the PDP. Somebody voluntarily declared that he is no longer a member of a political party and has been participating in the activities of another party, what else do you want to hear?

Gbara mentioned that if the lawmakers choose to rejoin the PDP, they must follow the party’s application process, after which their request will be reviewed, and appropriate actions will be taken.