“Can’t Tell Legislature Where To Meet”: Falana Challenges Fubara Over Relocation of Rivers Assembly

  • The political crisis rocking Rivers state is far from over as new developments unfolded in the polity in recent days
  • The relocation of the Rivers Assembly has further widened the rift between Governor Sim Fubara and his predecessor, Nyesom Wike
  • Femi Falana has, however, tutored Governor Fubara as he reacted differently to the change of the sitting venue of the Rivers Assembly lawmakers

TheTalk.NG journalist Esther Odili has over two years of experience covering political parties and movements.

A human rights lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN), has faulted Governor Simi Fubara of Rivers State for directing state assembly members to meet at the Government House, saying the legislature is independent of the executive.

Falana spoke on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics, explaining that since both arms of government are independent, Fubara cannot change the sitting venue of the Rivers State House of Assembly.

“I would like to assume that the governor issued that executive order before the intervention of the High Court in Rivers State,” Falana said on the show.

“The house is independent of the executive. So the governor cannot tell the house where to sit.”

Fubara issued an executive order on Friday to immediately and temporarily relocate the Rivers State Assembly’s sitting to the Auditorium, Admin Block of the Government House, Port Harcourt.

In an official Gazette, Executive Order of the Rivers State Government 001-2023, Fubara cited the unsafe state of the House of Assembly complex.

But Falana insisted that Fubara was wrong to move the sitting venue of the Rivers State House of Assembly, and referenced an impeachment of a governor done outside the premises of the House of Assembly which was nullified by the Supreme Court.

“This was very clear in the Oyo State case which led to the impeachment of Governor Ladoja whereby under the influence of the late Chief Lamidi Adedibu, the House was alleged to have sat in a hotel and the Supreme Court made that point abundantly clear that an impeachment carried out in a hotel deviates clearly from the Constitution,” the human rights lawyer said.

“So any sitting of the House outside the premise of the House of Assembly complex will not be known to law; will not be recognized by law.”

He said if there is a need for a sitting elsewhere, the members of the House of Assembly, properly constituted, will have to decide where to carry out their meeting.

“There is a separation of powers under the Constitution and each organ of the government must recognise its own powers and limitations,” he said.

Falana: Rivers lawmakers who decamped have lost their seats

Earlier, TheTalk.NG reported that Femi Falana explained that the Nigerian constitution does not allow lawmakers to change political parties while in office.

He asserted that all the 25 legislators in Rivers who switched from the People’s Democratic Party to the All Progressive Congress have essentially forfeited their position.

Falana said this while speaking of Channels Television on Sunday’s Politics, where he was analysing the legal implications of the action of the members of the Rivers House of Assembly.

Source: TheTalk.NG

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