Rivers State House of Assembly Invites New Commissioner-Nominee Amid Political Turmoil

In a significant development within the Rivers State political landscape, the State House of Assembly has extended an invitation to another commissioner-nominee for screening and confirmation. This move comes amid an ongoing and intense political feud between Governor Siminalayi Fubara and his predecessor, Minister of the Federal Capital Territory Nyesom Wike.

Invitation for Screening

The invitation for the new nominee, Emmanuel Frank-Fubara, was announced in a public statement signed by the Clerk of the Assembly, Dr. G. M. Gillis-West, on Sunday. The screening is scheduled to take place on Monday at the Chamber of the Assembly in Government House, commencing at 10 am. The statement emphasized that the nominee should present twelve sets of his Curriculum Vitae, along with the originals and photocopies of his credentials.

This is the third instance under the leadership of Speaker Victor Oko-Jumbo, who is aligned with Governor Fubara, that the House has conducted screening for commissioner nominees. This step is seen as part of the administration's efforts to reconstitute the state's executive council following the resignation of nine commissioners who were loyal to Nyesom Wike.

Political Context

The resignation of these commissioners, including those in critical portfolios such as Education, Justice, and Finance, highlighted the deepening rift between Governor Fubara and Nyesom Wike. The tension between these two political figures has escalated since the last quarter of 2023, leading to a series of legal and political battles.

The lingering supremacy battle has now reached the Supreme Court, with the faction led by Speaker Victor Oko-Jumbo challenging a recent judgment by the Appeal Court. This judgment had nullified an earlier order by the Rivers State High Court, which restrained pro-Wike lawmakers from parading themselves as legitimate members of the Assembly. The Appeal Court ruled that only the Federal High Court has the jurisdiction to handle such matters.

Supreme Court Appeal

The faction loyal to Governor Fubara has expressed their intent to appeal to the Supreme Court, aiming to overturn the Appeal Court's decision. Speaker Victor Oko-Jumbo criticized the Appeal Court's ruling, asserting that it was erroneous and that his faction remains the legitimate legislative body in Rivers State. He reiterated that there cannot be two Houses of Assembly in the state, emphasizing the need for clarity and legal resolution.

Governor Fubara's Stance

Governor Fubara, undeterred by the Appeal Court's ruling, has maintained his commitment to the state's development agenda. In a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Nelson Chukwudi, the governor reassured the public that his administration would continue to focus on delivering critical infrastructure projects. This declaration came after an inspection of the ongoing reconstruction work at the Zonal Hospital project in Bori Town, the headquarters of Khana Local Government Area.

Governor Fubara drew inspiration from the Bible, citing Psalm 23 verse 5, which speaks of God preparing a table in the presence of one's enemies. He interpreted this to mean that challenges are inevitable but surmountable. He assured the people of Rivers State that his administration would persevere and fulfill its promises despite the political turbulence.

Legal and Political Implications

The Supreme Court appeal by the Fubara loyalists underscores the high stakes involved in this political battle. The legal tussle revolves around the legitimacy of the Assembly and the authority of its members. The Appeal Court had previously dismissed an ex parte order issued by the Rivers State High Court, which barred Martin Amaewhule, a pro-Wike lawmaker, from parading himself as the Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly. The appeal court also nullified the decision that prevented 24 other pro-Wike lawmakers from accessing the Assembly complex or performing legislative duties.

A three-man panel led by Justice Jimi Olukayode-Bada upheld the appeal filed by Martin Amaewhule and his faction against Speaker Victor Oko-Jumbo and two others. The court determined that the Federal High Court has exclusive jurisdiction over such matters, as stipulated by section 273 of the Nigerian Constitution. This ruling effectively shifted the legal battleground to the Federal High Court, leaving the pro-Fubara faction seeking redress at the Supreme Court.

Reactions and Statements

In response to the Appeal Court's decision, Governor Fubara emphasized that his administration would not be deterred by legal setbacks. He reaffirmed his commitment to good governance and development projects, ensuring that the people of Rivers State receive the benefits of his administration's efforts. This stance aims to reassure the public and maintain confidence in the government's ability to deliver on its promises.

Similarly, Speaker Victor Oko-Jumbo, in a statement issued by the factional Clerk of the House, Dr. G. M. Gillis-West, argued that the Appeal Court acted in error. He reiterated that his faction represents the legitimate House of Assembly in Rivers State and that the pro-Wike lawmakers have no legal standing until a competent court rules otherwise. Oko-Jumbo's statement highlighted the determination of his faction to pursue legal avenues to assert their legitimacy.

The pro-Wike faction, led by Martin Amaewhule, has remained defiant, continuing to challenge the pro-Fubara faction's authority. The Appeal Court's ruling provided a temporary victory for the pro-Wike lawmakers, but the ongoing appeal to the Supreme Court signifies that the legal battle is far from over.

Broader Implications

The political feud between Governor Fubara and Nyesom Wike extends beyond personal differences, reflecting broader issues of political loyalty and power dynamics within the state. The resignations of key commissioners loyal to Wike indicate a significant realignment of political allegiances. This realignment has implications for governance, policy implementation, and the overall stability of the state administration.

The Supreme Court's eventual ruling will have far-reaching consequences for the political landscape in Rivers State. A decision in favour of the pro-Fubara faction could consolidate Governor Fubara's control over the state Assembly and his administration, enabling him to implement his development agenda without significant legislative opposition. Conversely, a ruling in favour of the pro-Wike lawmakers could embolden the opposition and further complicate the state's governance.


The invitation for the screening of commissioner-nominee Emmanuel Frank-Fubara comes at a critical juncture in Rivers State's political saga. As the legal battles continue, the state's political landscape remains highly volatile. The outcome of the Supreme Court appeal will play a pivotal role in determining the future direction of governance in Rivers State.

Governor Fubara's administration is keen to project an image of resilience and commitment to development despite the political turbulence. The ongoing efforts to reconstitute the executive council and the continuation of infrastructure projects underscore this commitment. Meanwhile, the pro-Wike faction remains determined to challenge the legitimacy of the pro-Fubara lawmakers, setting the stage for a prolonged legal and political confrontation.

In the midst of this turmoil, the people of Rivers State watch closely, hoping for a resolution that will bring stability and progress. The Supreme Court's decision will be a defining moment, shaping the future of the state's governance and political alignment. As both factions prepare for the next phase of the battle, the importance of legal clarity and adherence to democratic principles cannot be overstated. #RiversState #TredingNews #Bulletin1247 #politics #wike #fubara

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