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Rivers Govt Warns APC Lawmakers Against Impeachment Plans On Fubara- Says We Will Resist Attempt To Put Legality On Illegality

The Rivers State Government has slammed the All Progressives Congress, APC, over its call on the State House of Assembly to immediately commence an impeachment process against the governor of the state, Siminalayi Fubara.

The state’s Commissioner for Information and Communications, Joseph Johnson, explained that the 27 lawmakers in the State House of Assembly lacked the moral standing to impeach the governor.

The commissioner warned the APC lawmakers, who are loyal to Federal Capital Territory, FCT, minister, Nyesom Wike, against embarking on such a venture, stressing that any attempt to impeach the governor will be resisted by the Rivers people.

Recall that yesterday the Caretaker Committee Chairman of the APC in Rivers State, Tony Okocha, had at a press conference in Port Harcourt called on the State Assembly to quickly commence impeachment process against the governor.

Okocha stated that the impeachment was necessary because the governor “has insulted the sensibility” of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who waded in to resolve the lingering crisis in the state.

However, the Information and Communications Commissioner, in a quick response, said Okocha lacked the morality to talk about the state government, noting that Okocha was not a legitimate member of the APC.

According to the commissioner, attempts to impeach the governor would not be an easy journey, noting that the people of the state would resist such moves with their blood.

He said, “It is not going to be an easy journey. They should not imagine embarking on it because Rivers people will resist them. Rivers people will resist them because it is even baseless to think of it. They are not fighting with legitimacy; they are only fighting for their own survival. On what plank will you put that? The law says you can’t put legality on illegality.

“As far as we are concerned, they do not even have the locus standi to do that. They should not even bother to start it because Section 109(g) has settled the case. It says if an Assembly member defects from his own party that brought him to power, you automatically lose his seat. They have done that, and it is settled. Our Constitution is the grand norm.

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“The court, the Supreme Court, is there to look at these elementary issues. There is also a subsisting judgement on this, so we don’t need a second opinion on whether we should respect them as Assembly members or not. The Supreme Court has already declared those seats vacant.

“Tony Okocha was just yesterday declared as not being a member of APC by a former chairman of the party, Sokonte Davies. He is a factional chairman. We want the faction led by Chief Emeka Beke to say the same thing. Okocha is standing on one leg. His call is an empty call. His advice to impeach the governor is a journey that leads nowhere, and they will not succeed. The lawmakers are not existent, and they are not seen in law.”

Okocha had yesterday faulted the governor’s remark when he received a delegation of Ijaw leaders from Bayelsa state, on Monday. Fubara had said the state House of Assembly was non existent.

Okocha said the Nigeria constitution recognized the three arms of government such as the Executive, Judiciary and Legislative, saying the governor has no constitutional power to declare duly elected members of the state Assembly non-existent.

He said, “We have directed members of the Rivers State House of Assembly to commence the impeachment process of a comatose government. The Governor’s head has become bigger than his pillow. He does not respect the law. He does anything he cares to do. We will not sit here as Rivers people to see Rivers State become a laughing stock in the comity of states, when we have a Governor who does not know his left from his right.

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“A state as crucial and all important as Rivers State churned out a dunderhead. We cannot accept that. Our charge to the Assembly is to immediately commence an impeachment. And if they don’t do that there is what they call party discipline. We shall invoke the relevant section of the constitution.

“You know the history of politics. You know the constitution of Nigeria. The Governor said the Assembly members do not exist, that whatever thing they are doing is because he allowed them. In other words he has re-written the books. Elementary politics taught us the three organs of government and their roles. And goes further to talk about the separation of powers and checks and balances. Now what the Governor was implying clearly is that he is ruling Rivers State without laws.

“That Rivers State runs on executive arm and judiciary. So what that implies is simply absurdity. You can now see the tendencies of a dictator. As an opposition party in Rivers State, we will not keep quiet, we will shout. It is regrettable that the Governor has taken up to this point and we will not take it. The Governor was clear whether unambiguous in his deliberate attempt to denigrate the person of Mr President.

“All these while he has been sponsoring people to challenge the power of the President in the proclamation made by the President. The Governor said that the President’s intervention in Rivers State which he signed was not constitutional but a political solution. But he assented to it, not under duress. The agreement was signed in a friendly environment and the Governor assented to the proclamation and had the opportunity to speak where he thanked Mr President. So nobody forced him to sign the proclamation, he did it willingly. So at what point did the governor realize that the resolution was a political matter?

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“The issue again to ask is each of those items for us to drive this home. Nine Commissioners resigned and they were brought back. Then you now began to talk about constitutional issues when the President advised you not to interfere in the funding of the State Assembly. Another area of the Constitution which the President delved into was the conduct of local government elections and the representation of the budget. Among these issues raised, which of these is the Governor talking about that is not constitutional?.

“What section of the constitution empowers the Governor to declare the Assembly non-existent? The role of the Governor is proclamation of the Assembly which is done once in four years. The constitution doesn’t allow him for quarterly proclamation of the Assembly. He dissolved the House and proclaimed the Assembly at the end of the tenure of the Assembly. Mind you the Assembly we are talking about is a representative of the people, they were duly elected. They are not his appointees. So where did the Governor derive his powers to say that the Assembly is non-existent.

“Meanwhile records are there about the correspondences between the Governor and the Assembly wherein he addressed Martin Amaewhule as the Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly. We want this to be on record as the Chairman of the APC in Rivers State, as the representative of Mr President, we won’t sit here to see the Governor declare on his own as if he is in court.

“He has become Daniel, who is sitting in judgement to declare the Assembly members’ seat vacant. To that extent in consultation with my party, we have directed and we are directing the Assembly members and as APC members who are in the Assembly to immediately commence the impeachment of Governor Sim Fubara.

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