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Rivers Assembly rejects Fubara’s latest appointments, describes them as ‘illegal’

January 31, 2024

The latest directive came two days after the lawmakers stripped the governor of power to appoint a caretaker committee for local government councils in the state.

The Rivers House of Assembly has asked Governor Fubara to withdraw some appointments which it described as “illegal.”

The pro-Wike assembly gave the order in a letter addressed to the governor on Monday and signed by the Speaker, Martin Amaewhule, Channels TV reported.

Mr Amaewhule, in the letter, cited three appointments, including the appointment of Goodlife Ben as the acting chairperson of the Rivers State Local Government Service Commission.

The speaker said Mr Ben’s appointment contravened Section 44(3) of the Rivers State Local Government Law No 5 of 2018 which stipulates that “the Governor shall appoint the Chairman and Members of the Commission, subject to the confirmation by a resolution of the House of Assembly”.

The house said, “This law does not grant the Governor any power to appoint anyone, howsoever, as Chairman or Member of the Commission, even in an acting capacity.”

Besides Mr Ben, the lawmakers said the appointment of Ine Briggs as the acting director-general of the Bureau for Public Procurement contravened Sections 5(1) of the Rivers State Public Procurement Law No. 4 of 2008 which said: “there shall be for the Bureau, a Director-General who shall be appointed by the Governor on the recommendation of the Board after competitive selections”.

The house said, “The Board is yet to be reconstituted in line with Section 4(a) which states that “the Chairman and Members shall be appointed by the Governor for a term of four years subject to the confirmation of the Rivers State House of Assembly” so, there could not have been a recommendation when there is no Board to warrant the invocation of the powers of the Governor in Section 5(1) of the law”.

The house further said that the appointment of “Tonte Davies as Acting Administrator of a non-existent New Cities Development Authority (NCDA) is not backed by any legislation and the Governor cannot on his own or by executive fiat create this Authority without legislation from the Rivers State House of Assembly”.

The House said the appointments violate the Nigerian Constitution and other extant laws.

“We call on you to withdraw these appointments without further delay,” the house ordered.

The lawmakers are backed by a former governor of the state, Nyesom Wike, who is at loggerheads with Governor Fubara over the control of governance and politics in the state.

The latest directive came two days after the lawmakers stripped Mr Fubara of the power to appoint a caretaker committee for local government councils in the state.

The lawmakers, which last December withdrew an impeachment plot against Mr Fubara following President Bola Tinubu’s intervention, appear ready to tackle the governors on various fronts, going by their actions lately.

 

 

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