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Rivers Ex-Speaker, Amaewhule, Colleagues Caught On Tape Lying Over Defection to APC*

Rivers Ex-Speaker, Amaewhule, Colleagues Caught On Tape Lying Over Defection to APC*

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*Rivers Ex-Speaker, Amaewhule, Colleagues Caught On Tape Lying Over Defection to APC*


A viral video has confirmed the defection of the former Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Martins Amaewhule, his deputy, Dumle Maol and others from the People’s Democratic Party to the All Progressives Congress.

According to a letter signed by Maol and read by Amaewhule, their “defection was necessitated by the division in the PDP, particularly, the tussle around who the National Secretary of the party is”.

Although, there was no information on the date the letter was written, it appears to be in December 2023 when the lawmakers publicly defected to the APC.

Amaewhule had stated that their action was in line with Section 109 of the 1999 Constitution as amended, which allows serving legislators to defect if there is a division in the party upon which they hold the House of Assembly.

However, a Rivers State High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, the state capital, has since granted an interim injunction restraining Amaewhule and others from parading themselves as legislators.

This was after Victor Oko Jumbo, the lawmaker Representing Bonny State Constituency emerged as the new Speaker of the state assembly.

Justice Charles N. Wali gave this order in a case in suit number PHC/1512/CS/2024, filled by Jumbo, Sokari Goodboy, Orubienimigha Timoth and other members of the Assembly.

Despite the overwhelming evidence, Amaewhule and the other ex-lawmakers have filed an application at the Rivers State High Court denying their defection from the PDP.

This was as a legal practitioner, Dr Malachi Onyema, said that Section 40 of the Nigerian Constitution guarantees freedom of association, which includes the right to join or leave a political party.

Onyema further claimed that Amaewhule and his colleagues were still PDP members as they have had an afterthought of their actions.

But the Centre for Accountability and Good Governance said Section 68(1)(g) of the 1999 Constitution clearly states that a lawmaker who defects from the party that sponsored their election to another party can be deemed to have vacated their seat.

In a statement signed by its Director, Dr Francis Nwogu, the Centre said the defected ex-lawmakers must face consequences for their actions.

“Defecting from the political party that sponsored their elections is a betrayal of the trust placed in them by their constituents. It undermines the democratic process and destabilizes the political landscape,” Nwogu added.

“We urge the relevant authorities to take swift and decisive action to punish these lawmakers for their anti-democratic behavior. This includes declaring their seats vacant and initiating legal proceedings against them.

“The Centre believes that holding elected officials accountable for their actions is essential for maintaining the integrity of our democracy. We will continue to monitor this situation and advocate for the rule of law and democratic principles.”

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