Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon Dabotoru Dima Adams, yesterday, refused to administer oath of office on the only female lawmaker-elect to the House, Engr. Victoria Nyeche due to a court order.
Nyeche, who was elected under the platform of the All Progressives Congress, APC, to represent PHALGA I, and a second term lawmaker, got her victory both at the Tribunal and Appeal Court against rival, Hon. Jones Ogbonda of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, an appeal which she sought to be declared the rightful winner of the April 2015 Assembly elections in the state.
The Speaker had announced on the floor of the House at its resumed sitting that he received a court order restraining the House from administering an oath-of-office on Nyeche, pending the decision of court on a matter of impersonation levelled against her.
The Petitioner, Livingstone Wechie, Nigerian Pilot gathered, had earlier filed an interlocutory order of Court against the lawmaker-elect, which was granted by Justice Adolphus Enebeli of the Rivers state High Court for impersonation, wherein she wrote a petition to the Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN against the Assembly’s confirmation of Chief Judge of the State, using the letter head of the Assembly.
Wechie, in his petition, alleged that the defendant addressed herself as member of the Assembly, even when she had not been administered an oath of office or sworn in, which was granted on April 20, 2016, thereby stopping her from being sworn-in along 11 others.
The trial judge adjourned the case till April 28, 2016, for hearing of substantive motion.
However, the embattled lawmaker-elect, who was among the 25 pro-Governor Chibuike Amaechi supporters in the Seventh Assembly, has flayed the decision of the court and Assembly.
Nyeche expressed surprise at the order, saying that what played out was a clear indication of a lawless state. According to Nyeche, she is yet to receive any order to that effect.
“I feel very saddened for what is happened today. It is an indication that Rivers State is not governed by law. I am surprised that the Speaker said he had a court order. I have not been served the court order.
“This is to show you that the State is not governed by law. It is a calculated plan to stop me from serving my people. I have my Certificate-of-Return issued by INEC and it is surprising that the decision of a lower court could overrule the decision of Court of Appeal that upheld my victory”, she stated.
The embattled lawmaker-elect said she would approach her party, APC, for the next step to take.
Meanwhile ten PDP members were among the 12 lawmakers that took oath of office. They included: Manna Martins (Ahoada East Constituency 1), Inye Edison (Ahoada East Constituency 2), Major Jack (Akuku-Toru Constituency 1), Samuel Ogeh (Emohua Constituency), Martins Amaewhule (Obio/Akpor Constituency 1), Michael Chinda (Obio/Akpor Constituency 2), Christian Ahiakwor (ONELGA Constituency), Kelechi Nworgu (Omuma Constituency) and Tonye Smart (PHALGA Constituency 2).
Those for APC were, Benibo Anabraba representing Akuku-Toru Constituency 2 and Andrew Miller, Opobo/Nkoro Constituency.
In a related development, the House of Assembly has confirmed the appointment of the President of Customary Court of Appeal, Justice Christy Nwankwo.
Her confirmation followed a letter from the State Governor, Barr. Nyesom Wike, requesting the lawmakers’ approval to make her substantive president of the Customary Court of Appeal.

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