Tony John, Port Harcourt
The Rivers State House of Assembly has resolved to write the United Nations (UN) and European Union (EU), to alert them of what they described as ‘ill-treatment by the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led Federal Government’ and for their intervention.
Also, the Assembly has resolved to write the Presidency, Embassies in the country and, as well, condemn the attack on the state’s High Court by some hoodlums, where property of the judiciary were vandalised last Friday, due to a protest staged by a faction of the APC in the state.
The resolution was sequel to a motion brought under Public Importance, by Majority Leader, Martin Amaewhule and seconded by the member representing Bonny Constituency, Abiye Pepple, during an emergency sitting of the House, on Monday.
Amaewhule, while moving the motion titled; ‘Motion to Condemn the Violent Attack/Closure of the Rivers State High Court on Friday, May 11, 2018’, stated that the lives of the Chief Judge of the State, judges, judiciary staff and even the Governor, Nyesom Wike, were under threat.
He regretted that security agencies, whose bases were less than five minutes drive to the state High Court complex, were unable to arrest the situation.
The Majority Leader, who recalled the incidents that led to the closure of the courts and the Assembly in the build up to the 2015 general elections in the state, noted that the 1999 Constitution empowers the Federal Government to control the Police.
He stressed: “Sadly, enough, the Federal Government has delegated this control to certain individuals in the APC”.
Debating on the motion after the lawmakers, led by the Speaker, Ikuinyi Owaji-Ibani, stood down plenary to visit the High Court premises for a first-hand assessment on the vandalism, the lawmakers condemned the actions of the hoodlums.
They regretted that an internal matter of a political party should lead to the destruction and looting of state property, vowing to work with the government to protect democracy in the state.
In their submissions, Enemi George (ASALGA 2), Nathaniel Uwaji (ONELGA II), Michael Chindah (Obio/Akpor 1) and Evans Bipi (Ogu/Bolo) respectively, said the House should send a delegation to the UN and EU to formally submit a petition for the international community to intervene.
Commenting after the debate, the Speaker, Owaji-Ibani, reiterated that the Assembly will not fold its hands and watch those he described as “enemies of democracy” shut down an arm of government in the state again.
Speaking during the inspection, the Chief Judge of State, Justice Adama Iyayi-Lamikanra, stated that the judiciary was at a shock at the incident.
She pointed out that the judges had resolved never to allow the courts to be shut down again and that was why they (judges) all sat after the incident.
The Chief Judge informed that the damage done by the hoodlums were expensive and called on the state Assembly to help sensitise the public on the import of the judiciary to forestall recurrence.