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Rivers: APC’s Plot To Cause Anarchy Exposed

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has accused the All Progressives Congress (APC) of plotting to instigate a major political crisis for the declaration of a state of emergency in Rivers State due to the sack of its 22 council chairmen by a court.

The Rivers State Commissioner for Justice/Attorney General, Emma Aguma, has accused the APC and the 22-sacked chairmen of maligning the judge of National Industrial Court by alleging that the court issued an order reinstating them to office.

Rivers State PDP Deputy Publicity Secretary, Samuel Nwanosike, said that the conduct of the party since last Thursday’s Federal High Court verdict that nullified the May 23, 2015, council polls that brought in sacked chairmen into office, had been designed to create political crisis that would make the state ungovernable and for the federal government to intervene by way of a declaration of state of emergency. He advised the party to adhere to the rule of law and ventilate their grievance through legal means.

Similarly, the Chairman, Felix Obuah, has urged the APC and the sacked chairmen to seek redress at the Appellate Court, which is the Court of Appeal and not an Industrial Court which has cordons team jurisdiction with the Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt.

“The PDP is again concerned about the palpable tension such misinterpretation of a purported Industrial Court ruling has generated in the state, which the party believes was avoidable and uncalled for, as the state was beginning to properly stabilise, having some of those contentious issues laid to rest by the court and other institutions of law.

The PDP also warned the opposition to desist from making false statements; taking actions and making inflammatory comments that are capable of plunging the state into crisis.

The Rivers State Commissioner for Justice/Attorney General, Emma, observed that by peddling false rumour, the APC and the sacked council chairmen had portrayed the judge as sitting on appeal on the judgment of a court of coordinate jurisdiction, which he did not have power to do.

He insisted that the Rivers State governor and the House of Assembly did not dissolve the council officers; instead, a competent court sacked them.

“The issue that he set aside the judgment of the federal high court is a lie. The issue that he ordered the reinstatement of local government that were removed by reason of that judgment by the court and not by Rivers State House of Assembly or by the governor of Rivers state.

There is what they call punitive jurisdiction. When you do something that is not in tandem with a case that is pending before a particular court, the court has the punitive jurisdiction to restore the status quo and the situation before you did it. The Federal High Court in Port Harcourt exercised its punitive jurisdiction and nullified an election. It is not governor Wike,” he said.

He explained that the only reference to the Federal High Court judgment that sacked the council chairmen, when the industrial court sat on Monday, was a reference that says in view of the Federal High Court judgment that the chairmen have no business being in court any more, and the court reduce that application into a motion, put it in writing so that it will be formally before the court. He affirmed that the rumour that the sacked chairmen had been reinstated was a lie.

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