The disagreement between the Minority Leader of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Mr. BeniboAnabraba, and the State All Progressives Congress took a fresh turn on Wednesday when the lawmaker filed a suit challenging his expulsion from the party.
The State APC had on Monday expelled Anabraba, citing his involvement in anti-party activities, disrespect for constituted authority and refusal to honour party invitation.
Anabraba’s emergence as the minority leader of the House did not go down well with the state APC, which faulted the interference of the lawmakers of the Peoples Democratic Party in the election that brought him up.
But Anabraba, who read out the originating summons on the floor of the House on Wednesday stated that defendants in the matter were APC (1st defendant) Davies Ikanya, State APC Chairman (2nd defendant), John Josiah Olu, (3rd defendant), Speaker Rivers State House of Assembly, (4th defendant) and the Rivers State House of Assembly, (5th defendant).
Anabraba had prayed the court in the originating summons to determine among others, “Whether having regards to the provisions of sections 95(1), 96 (1) 98(1) and (2) and 101 of the 1999 Constitution as amended and Order 10(1) of the Standing Orders of the Rivers State House of Assembly, 1999, the
Plaintiff’s election as the Minority Leader of the 5th defendant is constitutional and legally valid.
“Whether the 3rd and 4th defendants and/or any other member of the Rivers State House of Assembly, having participated or voted in the election and returned the Plaintiff as the Minority Leader of the 5th defendant, can rightly turn around to challenge or question the emergence of the Plaintiff as the Minority Leader of the 5th defendant.”
However, the Speaker of the House, Ikuinyi Owaji-Ibani, told members during plenary that the House had taken delivery of the summons.
Owaji-Ibani explained that members should always explore legitimate means to resolve issues in the House rather than resorting to other means that would not be in the interest of the state.
“I believe that having been served, I am mindful of what our Standing Orders are. We should be able to follow all legitimate procedures in carrying out our legislative duties as an Assembly.
“It is our hope that members should continually explore all formal and informal avenues that we can use to resolve issues in the Assembly rather than taking other steps that will not be in the interest of all in Rivers State,” the Speaker stressed.
Reacting, the State Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress, Mr. Chris Finebone, said though the party had not been served any court process, it would do the needful whenever it was served.
According to him, we are yet to see any court process served us. When we do, we will do the needful.
1st February, 2017