Rivers crisis: Coalition of 92 CSOs send SOS to FG to save democracy in Nigeria … Urges NJC to beam searchlight on Justice Wali’s activities

A coalition of 92 Civil Society Organisations, CSOs under the platform of Centre for Credible Leadership and Citizens Awareness, CCLCA, have sent an SOS to the Federal Government to save democracy in Nigeria.


They also called on the National Judicial Commission, NJC to immediately beam its searchlight Justice Charles Wali of Rivers State High Court for issuing a controversial expate motion despite a subsisting order of a federal High Court.


Director General of CCLCA, Dr Gabriel Nwambu made this disclosure at a press briefing in Abuja on Monday.


The coalition further stressed that if the situation is not quickly addressed by the NJC it will go to Court to seek redress.


Dr Nwambu said the Centre for Credible Leadership and Citizens Awareness as a coalition of civil rights organization committed to good governance, upholding the principles of justice and the rule of law as the watchdog of the society has been watching with keen interest the latest unfolding events in Rivers State,Nigeria which by the mildest possible term is not synonymous to true democracy and democratic principles in line with global best practice. The rift between the Executive and the Legislative arms of Government and the actions of the chief executive officer in Rivers State which is akin to anarchy is becoming worrisome.


“Firstly, Hon. Justice J.K. Omotosho of the Federal High Court, Abuja gave a judgement stating that the Assembly led by Rt. Hon. Martins Amaewhule is recognized by law and certified by the court.

“In order 4 given by J.K. Omotosho that the 11th defendant which is the Governor of Rivers State in suit FHC/ABJ/CS/1613/2023 between the Rivers State House of Assembly and Rt. Hon. Amaewhule and others states that the 11th defendant is prohibited from making any request, presentation of nomination to any other house of Assembly other than that led by Rt. Hon. Martins Amaewhule. That judgement is subsisting.

” That judgement has not been set aside.

“In another suit pending before the FCT High Court in suit FHC/ABJ/CS/1681/2024 before Hon. Justice Okoro before the Rivers State House of Assembly and INEC concerning the defection of the 27 Assembly members, the court gave an injunction restraining the INEC and the defendants from declaring the seats vacant and from proceeding to conduct elections to fill any vacancy. The first judgement made by Hon. Justice J.K. Omotosho is still subsisting and has not been set aside, the second order made by Justice Okoro has not been vacated.


“Now, the order made by Justice C.N. Wali of the Rivers State High Court recognizing the 3 law makers contradicts clearly the provisions of section 272(3) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as Amended which states that a State High Court has no jurisdiction to entertain matters bothering on the tenure of the State Assembly. This means that the Rivers State High Court also lack jurisdiction to make an order.


” In other words, the order made by Justice C.N. Wali amounts to Forum Shopping, Abuse of Court Process and tantamount to self help.


” Consequently, as a coalition of Civil Rights Organizations, we can not allow such threat to our hard earned democracy to thrive in Nigeria where we operate a constitution, where the rule of law should be practiced to the letter.



“Ladies and gentlemen, we are talking about a purported assembly where 3 persons parade themselves as law makers for an entire state contradicting clearly the provisions of section 96(1) as amendment which defines one-third (1/3) as what constitutes a quorum. If for any reason the assembly can not form a quorum, the assembly shall adjourn. It is never the intendment of those who crafted the 1999 Constitution that only 3 lawmakers shall be enacting laws for the people.


“Again, the chief executive of Rivers State relocated the Legislative Arm of Government, an institution of government, to commence sitting inside the Government House. This singular act is not consistent with the principle of Separation of Power, a complete aberration, desecration and denigration of our Constitution.



“Again, the purported screening of a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Dagogo Iboroma, before an illegitimate House of Assembly is an affront to the integrity of our legal system and a contemptuous act towards court judgments. The Federal High Court, in Suit No FHC/ABJ/CS/1613/2023, clearly ruled that only the Amaewhule-led Assembly of 27 members can determine who their clerk is. We urge Dagogo Iboroma, SAN, and all leaders of the Bar to uphold the sanctity of the law and refrain from participating in actions that undermine the Constitution and the authority of the Federal courts.


“Despite the unambiguous provision of Section 272(3) of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended without vacating a subsisting Order has gone ahead perpetrating illegality and contempt of court.


“Furthermore, we deplore Governor Sim Fubara’s intention to probe the immediate past administration.

“The Governor should also be reminded that the immediate past administration was where him served as Accountant General of Rivers State. The fact that he is calling for a probe of an administration for which he served as the chief accounting officer of the state already speaks volumes on his real intention for the said probe.


“Such actions already depicts a colouration of a hidden political motives in the enquiry and therefore has voided every outcome or report of such panel of enquiry.


“Moreover, Governor Fubara’s alleged plan to demolish the State House of Assembly is an assault on democracy and an attempt to silence opposition voices in Rivers state. The democratic process thrives on the existence of independent legislative bodies, and any attempts to undermine their autonomy should be condemned in the strongest possible term.


“Lastly, we are deeply concerned about reports suggesting that the chief executive is spending Rivers State funds outside the realm of appropriation. A replication of corruption, abuse of power and due process. This act contravene the principles of fiscal responsibility and accountability. Public funds should be managed prudently and in accordance with the law.


“We urge the appropriate authorities to investigate these allegations thoroughly and take appropriate actions to safeguard the interests of the citizens.


“As a Coalition of Civil Rights Organizations, we firmly stand against these illegal activities and actions of Chief Executive of Rivers State. We call on all citizens, civil society organizations, and leaders of the Bar and the Bench to join us in defending the rule of law, upholding democratic tenets and principles, and safeguarding our constitutionally guaranteed rights.


“We will take all necessary steps to oppose these desecrations of our courts and the noble profession of law. “Together, we can ensure that justice prevails and the rights of the people in Rivers State are protected.

Related posts