Pro-Wike assembly issues Fubara seven-day ultimatum to resubmit 2024 budget


By Adetutu Sobowale

The Rivers State House of Assembly, led by Martin Amaewhule, has given the state Governor, Siminalayi Fubara a seven-day deadline to resubmit the 2024 Budget.

This order was issued during the first session of the pro-Wike House on Monday after a hiatus of several months.

Meanwhile, a parallel session was held by another faction of the House led by Victor Oko-Jumbo.

Fubara had previously presented the budget to the faction, with his current Chief of Staff, Edison Ehie, presiding as Speaker.

Ehie and the pro-Fubara lawmakers passed the budget estimates, which the governor then signed into law.

The ongoing political crisis between the governor’s loyalists and his predecessor, Nyesom Wike, is marked by repeated interventions to settle their differences.

In October 2023, 27 pro-Wike lawmakers attempted to impeach Fubara but he successfully fought off the challenge.

Later in December same year, President Bola Tinubu‘s intervention temporarily eased the tension, but the agreement reached has since broken down.

In May 2023, the state High Court issued an interlocutory injunction barring Amaewhule and other 26 lawmakers from sitting or parading as members of the state House of Assembly.

This followed a lawsuit filed by Fubara’s loyalists led by Oko-Jumbo.

Also in May, a similar order prohibited the governor, state Attorney-General, and Chief Judge from interacting with the disputed lawmakers.

Oko-Jumbo, representing Bonny State Constituency, later emerged as a factional Speaker of the state House of Assembly.

However, a three-man panel led by Justice Jimi Olukayode-Bada overturned the state High Court’s decision that had barred the pro-Wike lawmakers from accessing the Assembly.

The panel upheld the appeal by the 27 pro-Wike lawmakers, who had been excluded based on their defection from the Peoples Democratic Party to the All Progressives Congress.

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