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Pro-Wike Lawmakers Take Away Fubara’s Authority To Appoint LG Chairmen



Pro-Wike Lawmakers Take Away Fubara's Authority To Appoint LG Chairmen

Overriding Governor Siminalayi Fubara’s dissent, the Rivers State House of Assembly approved the Rivers State Local Government (Amendment) Bill into law on Monday.

Among other things, the new law denied the governor the authority to designate committees to act as caretakers for local government districts.

Additionally, it mandates that elections be held by the Rivers State Independent Electoral Commission prior to the local government chairmen’s terms ending.

The new rule also stipulates that the current chairmen’s terms will be extended by a maximum of six months in the event that the LG election is unable to take place for whatever reason.

The House will override the governor once more to pass legislation on this occasion.

The choice was decided by the House during its 159th Legislative Session, which was conducted in the Assembly Quarters in Port Harcourt under the direction of Speaker Martin Amaewhule.

Martins Wachukwu, the Speaker’s media assistant, revealed the Assembly’s decision in a statement on Monday.

The Local Government (Amendment) Bill was passed by the Assembly on March 13, 2014, and it was sent to the governor for his approval.

Nevertheless, Fubara refused to sign the bill as the legislators threatened to override him.

Since late last year, the Assembly and the governor have been at odds with one other following Fubara’s split with his predecessor and political mentor, Nyesom Wike.

The Speaker and twenty-seven other Assembly members support Wike, and they tried to remove Fubara from office in October of last year.

President Bola Tinubu’s intervention temporarily eased the tension, but recent developments indicate that the gladiators are once again in the trenches.

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“Determined to perform its constitutional duties, the bill was presented afresh by the Majority Leader, Hon. Major Jack, and debated by members,” stated the Speaker’s aide’s statement on Monday.

“Thereafter, the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Martin Amaewhule, put the question to the House, and with two-thirds majority votes, the House agreed to override the governor and passed the bill into law,” according to the amended Section 100(5) of the 1999 Federal Republic of Nigeria Constitution, which gives the House the authority to override the governor in cases where he withholds his assent.

As a further development, the House verified and vetted candidates for the chairmanship and Assembly Service Commission seats.

Sampson Worlu as Chairman, Abinye Blessing Pepple, Mrs. Blessing Belema Derefaka, Mr. Gbaranen Robinson, and Madam Dorcas Amos as Members were those who were screened and confirmed.

The statement reminded that the Rivers State Assembly Service Commission (Amendment) Bill, which the Assembly enacted into law on March 22, 2024, gave the House the authority to assign the Assembly Service Commission’s chairman and members back to itself.

Our correspondent’s attempts to reach the state’s Commissioner of Information and Communications, Joseph Johnson, were unsuccessful since his line was busy.

Additionally, at the time this complaint was filed on Monday night, he had not responded to any text or WhatsApp messages that had been sent to him.

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