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Court nullifies amendment to Rivers assembly commission law

Court nullifies amendment to Rivers assembly commission law

A High Court sitting in Port Harcourt the Rivers State capital has nullified section three of the Rivers State House of Assembly Service Commission Law recently amended by the FCT minister ally Martins Amaewhule-led Assembly.

The amendment, which was recently enacted after the Assembly vetoed the state governor Siminalayi Fubara, transferred the power to appoint the chairman and members of the commission from the governor to the Speaker of the House.

Concerned about the significant change, the Association of Legal Legislative Drafting and Advocacy Practitioners, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), initiated a legal action to seek the court’s interpretation of the amendment in line with the Nigerian Constitution.

Delivering the judgment, Justice Kariba Dagogo-Jack ruled that the amendment violated sections 5, 176, 197, and 198 of the Nigerian Constitution.

The judge clarified that the Nigerian Constitution grants the exclusive right to appoint members of boards, commissions, and institutions, including the States Assembly Service Commission, to the executive governors of the states, but these appointments must be confirmed by the States Houses of Assembly.

She described the actions of the Martin Amaewhule-led House of Assembly as an attempt by legislators to usurp the responsibilities of the executive in clear violations to the principle of separation of powers.

She however issued an order striking down section three of the law and imposed a perpetual injunction preventing the enforcement of that section.

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