The Rivers State Governor, Siminalayi Fubara, and the state House of Assembly may again be on a collision course as the lawmakers on Monday accused the governor of making illegal appointments.
This was as Fubara on Monday warned nine commissioners who returned to his cabinet months after resigning, not to work against his government.
The commissioners, who are allies of ex-Governor Nyesom Wike, resigned from Fubara’s cabinet at the height of the political crisis between Fubara and Wike.
The state Assembly, during its plenary on Monday presided over by the Speaker, Martin Amaewhule, said the governor was acting outside the law, describing his actions as an aberration.
The lawmakers frowned on the appointment of Mr. Goodlife Ben as acting Chairman of the Local Government Service Commission, Dr. Mrs Ine Briggs as acting Director- General of Bureau for Public Procurement, and Mr. Tonte Davies as acting Administrator of New Cities Development Authority.
This followed an observation by the House Majority Leader, Major Jack, who called the attention of his colleagues to a government Special Announcement in that regard.
Citing sections of different laws, the lawmakers accused Fubara of relegating the laws to the background.
The Speaker wondered why Fubara would deliberately act in violation of extant laws and the 1999 Constitution “ knowing that such acts constitute misconduct.”
The House resolved to write to Fubara to draw his attention to Section 44(3) of the Rivers State Local Government Law No. 5 of 2018 and Section 5(1) of the Rivers State Public Procurement Law No. 4 of 2008.
While reading the House resolution, the Speaker said, “The only thing available for the governor to do is to submit his nominees to us (House) for screening and confirmation.
There is no legislation backing the purported New Cities Development Authority that he intends to create.
“The action of the governor to go ahead to appoint someone and say the person is in an acting capacity and ask the person to resume there is nothing like that in our law.
“The Clark is hereby directed to write a letter to the governor drawing attention to the laws of Rivers State, particularly the Rivers State Local Government Law. Public Procurement Law N0 4.”
Meanwhile, Fubara, on Monday, warned the nine pro-Wike commissioners who returned to his cabinet months after resigning, not to work against his government.
The commissioners are Prof. Zacchaeus Adangor (SAN), Dr. Jacobson Mbina, Dr. Gift Worlu, Mrs Inime Chinwenwo-Aguma, Chukwuemeka Woke, Prof. Prince Chinedu Mmom, Dr. George Des-Kelly, Isaac Kamalu, and Austin Chioma.
In a statement on Monday by his media aide, Boniface Onyedi, Fubara urged the returnee commissioners to support the government in a way that would promote its image.
Let me also use this medium to direct the Secretary to the State Government to assign the commissioners that were sworn in last week with their responsibilities. Let the SSG assign only those of you who are here today back to their former offices. Let it be part of my birthday gift to you.
“But let me also say this, coming and taking back your position is not for you to use it to destroy my government. Whatever it is that you’re doing, it is not about me. It is about the things that you can stand to defend and be proud of many years after,” Fubara said.
According to the statement, he spoke at the Government House in Port Harcourt where he swore in a former factional Speaker of the House of Assembly, Edison Ehie, as his Chief of Staff.
Ehie’s appointment came weeks after Chidi Amadi, another ally of Wike, resigned from the position amid the political crisis between Wike and Fubara.
The same political crisis saw Ehie resigning his membership of the Rivers State House of Assembly, where alongside four other lawmakers, he resisted an attempt by 27 lawmakers loyal to Wike to impeach Fubara.