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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Wike’s support leads to Rivers Assembly overriding Fubara and passing amended LG bill

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The Rivers State House of Assembly has overridden Governor Siminalayi Fubara’s withdrawal of assent to the amended Local Government Bill.

The House of Assembly dispensed with Mr Fubara’s assent to the bill to make it an enforceable law in the state on Monday.

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The lawmakers overrode Mr Fubara’s veto of the bill with two-thirds majority of the members of the House of Assembly, making it the fifth time in four months that the they have enacted laws without the governor’s assent.

The lawmakers, who are loyal to the former governor of the state, Nyesom Wike, took the decision during their 159th sitting, Punch newspaper reported, citing a statement by the media aide to the speaker, Martin Wachukwu.

The bill was earlier passed on 13 March and forwarded to the governor for assent, but Mr Fubara allegedly declined assent.

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“Determined to perform its constitutional duties, the Bill was represented by the Majority Leader, Major Jack and debated upon by members.

“Thereafter, the House in accordance with the provision s of Section 100(5) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as altered, which empowers the House to override the Governor, where he withholds his assent, the Speaker, Martin Amaewhule put the question, and with two third majority vote, the House agreed to override the governor and passed the Bill into law,” Mr Wachukwu said.

The House had on 22 March passed the Rivers State Assembly Service Commission into law, stripping Mr Fubara of the power to appoint the chairperson and members of the commission and conferred the power on itself.

The lawmakers, in exercise of its power in the new law, appointed, screened and confirmed members of the commission, according to the statement by the speakers’ aide on Monday.

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Members of the commission include Abinye Pepple, as chairperson, Blessing Derefaka, Gbaranen Robinson and Dorcas Amos as members.

Appointments null and void – Rivers Government

Speaking to PREMIUM TIMES on Monday evening, the Commissioner for Information in Rivers State, Joseph Johnson, described the action of the lawmakers as null and void and a show of legislative rascality.

“Therefore, whatever they have done is nullity. It cannot stand, it has no place in law. It is the greatest display of rascality by the assembly.

“Anybody who thinks it can stand should tell me who will payroll them? They raised the names, screened and appointed them and would probably give them offices. You cannot usurp the position of the executive,” Mr Johnson said.

Rivers State has been enmeshed in a political crisis over the superiority battle between Mr Fubara and his predecessor, Mr Wike, who is now the minister of FCT.

The crisis triggered a split in the state assembly with 27 members supporting Mr Wike while four are loyal to Mr Fubara.

READ ALSO: Shaibu’s sack, Fubara-Wike politics, Delta secret amoury, other South-south top stories

In an effort to end the crisis, President Bola Tinubu last December brokered a controversial peace deal between Messrs Wike and Fubara, after the seats of pro-Wike lawmakers were declared vacant following their defection to the APC.

But despite the peace deal, the feud between Mr Wike and Governor Fubara has persisted.

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