Rivers State Assembly set to amend Traditional Rulers and Advertisement Laws

In its 90th legislative sitting on Tuesday, the Rivers State House of Assembly granted the First Reading to a Bill aimed at amending the Rivers State Traditional Rulers Law No. 4 of 2015.

Presented by the Majority Leader, Hon. Major Jack, the Bill underscores its intent to align the Traditional Rulers law with current realities, reflecting the dynamic nature of governance.

The Assembly also introduced another crucial Bill seeking to repeal the Rivers State Advertisement and Use of State-owned Property (Prohibition) Law No.7 of 2022. This legislative move was sponsored by Hon. Tonye Smart Adoki, representing Port Harcourt Constituency II.

Addressing the legislative agenda, Speaker Rt. Hon. Martin Chike Amaewhule highlighted constitutional provisions empowering the State House of Assembly to receive the audited account of the State. Urging the House Committee on Public Accounts to investigate the delay in obtaining the 2022 audited account from the State Auditor-General, Speaker Amaewhule emphasized the importance of accountability.

In response, the Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, Hon. Major Jack, requested additional time for thorough inquiry and consultation, a request granted with a three-week extension.

Furthermore, Speaker Amaewhule disclosed that the Assembly is awaiting the State’s Medium Term Expenditure Framework and the 2024 Appropriation Bill. The House unanimously decided to communicate with Governor Sir Siminialayi Fubara, notifying him of the delay, citing constitutional obligations.

This update comes via a statement released by the spokesman of the State Assembly Speaker, Martins Wachukwu, on his social media handle.

Recall that the Rivers State House of Assembly faced a leadership crisis following the clash between former governor Wike and Gov Fubara.

The assembly, divided into factions, witnessed Martin Amaewuele leading a faction loyal to Wike as the Speaker, while the other faction loyal to Gov Fubara had Hon Edison Ehie as the factional speaker.

The crisis was  initiated when 27 members moved to impeach the governor on October 30, 2023, a move thwarted by four members loyal to Governor Sir Sim Fubara.

On the night of October 29, 2023, reports emerged of the State House of Assembly being on fire, leading to the demolition of the entire structure for renovation, as stated by the state commissioner of information. This move triggered reactions across the country, with debates arising over the governor’s motives considering an impending political crisis that existed between the governor and his predecessor.

President Tinubu intervened to resolve the crisis, resulting in Ehie resigning from his position as the speaker and member of the Assembly.

The resolution reached during the meeting with the President has become a topic of debate, with varying interpretations and advice given to the governor regarding adherence to the agreement.

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