In response to the brazen invasion of the Rivers State High Court Complex by armed thugs of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and backed by operatives of the Nigeria Police, last Friday, the Rivers State House of Assembly has resolved to formally petition the United Nations to save the people of the state from the clutches of APC-led Federal Government.
The Rivers State House of Assembly also resolved to petition the European Union and the Commonwealth of Nations to take immediate steps to ensure the safety of Rivers people in the face of premeditated assault by the APC-led Federal Government and her agents.
At an emergency session, last Monday, the Rivers State House of Assembly also resolved to petition the President and Commander-in-Chief, President Muhammadu Buhari with a view to eliciting his immediate action on the evils being perpetrated against Rivers people by agents of his administration.
Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Ikuinyi-Owaji Ibani, who presided over the sitting, placed the motion moved by the Majority Leader, Hon Martin Amaehwule before members for voting.
Sixteen members voted in favour of the motion, while three voted against, and another three abstained from voting.
The resolution followed a motion moved by the Leader of the House and member representing Obio/Akpor State Constituency 1, Martin Amaewhule under matter of urgent importance, condemning the attack and closure of the Rivers State High Court Complex on May 11, 2018.
The motion was seconded by the member representing Bonny State Constituency, Abiye Pepple.
Moving the motion, Amaewhule drew attention of members of the House to the incident of May 11, 2018, where both uniformed and non-uniformed armed men attacked the State High Court Complex in a commando-style.
He noted that the hoodlums shot sporadically before shutting down the complex by locking the entrances, destroyed government and private property, and molested judicial officers, lawyers and litigants.
The leader of the House, who stated that the cause of the crisis was an impending ruling on a matter between two factions of the APC, noted with sadness that no arrest has been made even when the hoodlums were clearly seen attacking people and destroying vehicles and infrastructure at the High Court Complex in the presence of the APC-controlled Federal Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS).
He observed that the safety of the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike can no longer be guaranteed as the Federal Government, whose responsibility it was to control the police, has now delegated the power of control of the Rivers State Police Command, and particularly FSARS, to the leader of Rivers APC.
In his contribution, Minority Leader, Hon Benibo Anabraba regretted that, with the action, members of his political party desecrated the temple of justice.
Deputy Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Hon Marshall Uwom said it was expedient to defend the rule of law and democracy in the state.
Member representing Ahoada East Constituency 2, Hon Ehie Edison while condemning the invasion, said that acts of this nature must be met with sanctions.
Member representing Asari-Toru State Constituency 2, Emeni George, who described as sacrilegious the desecration of the temple of justice, urged the President to sack the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, for incompetence.
Majority Whip, Hon Evans Bipi said the attack on the state High Court Complex was a signal to what the APC plans to do in 2019 elections, and urged the House to also petition all embassies in Nigeria.
Ruling on the matter, Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Rt Hon. Ikuinyi-Owaji Ibani said the position of the House was to save the state from the illegal acts of the APC-led Federal Government.
He said the attack on the Judiciary, which was the last hope of the common man, was a sad narrative for the state and her corporate existence.
The House of Assembly later stood down plenary for about an hour during which they moved to the state High Court Complex where members inspected the level of damage done by the APC and the Nigeria Police on the Judiciary premises.
They were conducted round the complex by the state Chief Judge, Justice Adama Iyayi-Lamikanra.
The chief judge said that last Friday’s incident was an assault on democracy and sensibility of Rivers people, adding that “there was no reason for the attack whatsoever, because the law provides avenue of appeal, if they wish to do so.”
Justice Iyayi-Lamikanra further stated that, “the whole saga that happened, we are still in shock.”
She recalled that on the fateful day, she had received an alert about 6:30am on the planned invasion by APC members, who were against a court proceeding over their LG congress, adding that she had quickly put a call across to the Commissioner of Police, Zaki Ahmed, who failed to respond by sending his men to the scene.
The chief judge urged the legislators to ensure they enlighten the public, especially their constituents on why they should respect the sanctity of the courts, praying that such incident should not be allowed to repeat in the state.
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