Port Harcourt - A Port Harcourt High Court on Tuesday fixed June 18 to hear a suit filed by Gov. Chibuike Amaechi of Rivers to restrain the state House of Assembly from impeaching him.
The court, presided over by Justice George Omereji, gave the date in Port Harcourt following an oral application by five members of the house, seeking for independent representation in the case.
The 32-member assembly is divided into two groups, with 27 supporting the governor while five are loyal to the new state Chairman of the PDP, led by Chief Felix Obuah.
Mr Chinwe Aguma, counsel to the five lawmakers, told newsmen that his clients had different interest with the leadership of the house.
He said that the lawmakers sought independent representation in the case since they had nothing to do with the leadership of the house.
"The Governor of Rivers State sued the house of assembly, secondly, he sued the Right Honourable Otelemaba Amachree, the Speaker of the house, in a representative capacity; that is to say, suing the speaker to represent the other members of the house.
"So, in effect, by the nature of the action, our clients, who are also members of the house but who do not believe they have the same interest as the right honourable speaker, viz a viz this particular case, sought their own independent representation to convey their own stance on the matter,’’ he said.
Mr Emenike Ebete, counsel to the assembly, told newsmen that the court directed all parties in the suit to regularise normal processes before the adjourned date.
He said Gov. Amaechi perceived that less than two thirds majority needed to form quorum to impeach a governor, would sit illegally and remove him.
"It was not an injunction. The governor approached the court against the Rivers State House of Assembly of 32 members, praying the court to restrain the assembly, who are my clients, to restrain them from impeaching him, illegally or unconstitutionally.
"Because, he perceiving that, maybe, five or two or three members, less than the 21 members who are supposed to be two thirds of the house, want to illegally impeach him without following due process .
"So, he approached the court that we (the assembly) should not impeach him unconstitutionally, except as provided for by the constitution," he said.
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