*Asks NJC, EFCC To Probe Culprit Justice Okoro
A group under the auspices of African Human Rights Centre has expressed worry over the alleged leaked ruling to legally affirm the sacked members of the Rivers State House of Assembly loyal the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nyesom Wike and pave the way for impeachment of the State Governor, Siminalayi Fubara.
The Centre also called on the National Judicial Council (NJC) and Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate
Justice Donatus Okoro of the Federal High Court, Abuja who allegedly prepared the ruling.
The Director of Operations and Programmes Development of the centre, Barrister Chioma Udonsi who stated this in statement on Sunday called on lawyers to rise up to this occasion which poses threat to the rule of law and democracy in the country.
According to him, Rivers State High Court sitting in Port Harcourt last week gave an interim order, restraining the factional Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Martins Amaewhule, and his deputy, Hon. Dumle Maol, from forcefully gaining access into the Assembly complex, pending the hearing of the suit before it.
He also noted that 27 members of the House of Assembly, led by Amaewhule, had on the floor of the House last Monday, announced their defection from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Raising the alarm, Udonsi said:
“See the leaked draft of an alleged already written court ruling by one Justice Donatus Okorowo of Federal High Court 8 Abuja on an exparte application secretly filled in the night by pro Wike former lawmakers which the judge wants to deliver tomorrow been monday where he wants to stop the declaration of their seat vacant (an action that have been done) and also give them the legitimacy to move in with DSS and police to start the illegal impeachment of Governor Fubara .
“The draft was mistakenly shared yesterday by a principal officer of pro Wike group in their WhatsApp platform before hurriedly deleting it. The plan is to secure the Justice Okorowo Ruling which is already written, deliver it tomorrow and serve Fubara impeachment notice Tuesday .
“The Judge already know that there is an existing High court ruling from Rivers State which barred the former lawmakers from parading themselves and also recognized Edison as New Speaker and instead directing them to Appeal it.
“He wants to give the Pro- Wike a midnight injunction to enable them embark on the next stage of their madness which will lead to deadly crisis, the statement read in part.
“Let lawyers and lovers of Democracy storm the Court 8 of the Federal High Court Abuja show Justice Okorowo Donatus that the eyes of the world is on him.”
Continuing, he said the leaked judgement read in parts: judgement goes thus: “In the Federal High Court Abuja, Judicial Division Holden at Abuja, Monday 18, Dec 2023 before His Lordship,
Justice D, U. Okorowo in suit no. FHC/ABJ/CS/168 1/2023 between
1. The Rt. Hon. Martin Chike
Amaewuhule (The Honourable Speaker, Rivers State House of Assembly)
2. Rt. Hon. Dumle Maol (The Honourable Deputy Speaker, Rivers State House of Assembly ( and the remaining 25 of the 27 lawmakers)
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), People’s Democratic Party, Rivers State House of Assembly, and others.”
“As shows in unmistaken terms that there is indeed crises, deep division and factions within the 2nd Defendant (PDP) leading to struggle for the leadership and control of the party.
“These crises and faction within the PDP has culminated into various conflicting interlocutory injunction as exemplified by Exhibit BI to BS.
Evidently, these crises and factions have led to consideration of merger with other political parties as shown in Exhibit C.
“This court cannot ignore the import of Exhibits Al – AS, B1BS and C, which have affected the legal rights of the applicants and necessitated them to find refuge by defecting to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
“In the circumstances, there is urgent need to protect the seats of the plaintiffs/applicants from declared vacant by the defendants or being hampered in the performance of their legislative functions, for which the electorate voted them. A timely intervention of this court is necessary.”
Udonsi added: “We the at African Human Rights Centre being deeply worried by this unfortunate abuse of power by the court and its cohorts urged the NJC to swing in action to save the judiciary from going into abyss and EFCC to unravel the financial inducements that might have forced Justice Okoro for raping the judiciary and democracy in Nigeria.
“This two critical institutions of the Nigerian state, NJC and EFCC have yet another chance to prove their mettle that they are truly doing what they are paid with tax payers money to do. The whole world is watching them and Nigeria as this issue is handled because the leaked judgment has gone viral and is already drawing global attention.”