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Obio—Akpor Ruling: Government Statement

By Ibim Semenitari
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The attention of the Rivers State Government has been drawn to the pronouncement of a court presided over Justice Adanma Iyayi- Lamikanra

In it, the trial Judge held that the action of the Rivers State House of Assembly in respect of the suspension of the former Chairman and councilors of the Obio/Akpor Local Government Council for alleged fraudulent practices was flawed and unconstitutional.

As a responsible Government, which respects the rule of law, we have noted the ruling and in our usual manner would abide by the pronouncement.

However, we are constrained to note that the trial judge acted in total disregard of the Court of Appeal, which at the moment is entertaining an appeal in respect of the matter. We are aware that under the rules of court, where there is a subsisting ruling essentially from the court above, lower courts are as a rule expected to stay action pending the determination of the appeal.

In this instance, we wish to state without equivocation that the trial judge erred in law when she failed to adhere to age-long principles upon which the rule of law draws inspiration and strength.

For the avoidance of doubt, the Rivers State Government has filed an appeal for a stay of execution of the judgment while the ongoing matter that is being heard by the court above is billed for Thursday, the 28th of November, 2013.

In the meantime, we appeal to all Rivers people, particularly the good people of Obio/Akpor to remain calm and law abiding. We wish to assure our people that we shall pursue the cause of justice through constitutional and judicial means until the people secure justice.

Ibim Semenitari
Commissioner of Information and Communications, Rivers State

Monday, November 25, 2013