Leadership Tussle in Ebonyi State House of Assembly Shifts to Court

By IAfrica
In Nigeria
Aug 15th, 2014

After series of meetings of the Founding Fathers of Ebonyi State and
the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) State Executives, Governor Martin
Elechi told newsmen in Abakaliki that Rt. Honourable Chukwuma Nwazunku
remains the authentic Speaker of Ebonyi State House of Assembly. This
supposes that the power tussle between Hon. Mrs. Helen Nwaobashi,
elected by 18 members of the state House, as the new speaker, on July
21st, 2014, has ended in favour of Nwazunku.

In support of Governor Elechi’s announcement to the press, the member
representing Ezza South and Ikwo Federal Constituency, Chief Tobias
Okwuru in interview with newsmen said that the Governors intervention
was not in anyway meant to undermine the state House of Assembly
status, rather it will make the law –makers better legislatures.

Chief Okwuru, did not stop at that, he as well, appealed to the state
lawmakers to continue to promote the interest of the state above
personal consideration.

Although Hon. Nwazunku has the backing of the Governor, the founding
fathers and the PDP state executives, he also wanted the judiciary
backing. For this reason, Hon. Nwazunku and other 9 members of the
House approached the Abakaliki High Court to seek an injunction
restraining Mrs. Helen Nwaobashi from carrying herself as the new
speaker, after his impeachment by some members of the House on the
21st July, 2014.

The Court, presided over by Justice Chinyere Ken Eze, after hearing a
counter application on the matter, by the Defence Counsel to Mrs.
Helen Nwaobashi, Chief Anthony Nwaobo, fixed 4th of September 2014 for
the ruling.

The Defence Counsel to Mrs. Helen Nwaobashi, Chief Nwaobo (SAN) during
an interview said the court has no jurisdiction to decide on the
matter, maintaining that his client, Mrs. Helen Nwaobashi should be
allowed to remain as the authentic Speaker of the House.

The Counsel to the plaintiff, Mr. Modi Irenede prayed the court to
expedite action on the matter. He dismissed as academic exercise, the
argument that the court has no right to entertain the case.

He, however, maintained that it is the up to the Court to decide
whether or not, it has jurisdiction to entertain the case.

Committed to having legal backing on the 21st July, 2014 election of a
new speaker, Mrs. Helen Nwaobashi and 18 others have also approached
the same court praying that the court affirm her election as the new
speaker of Ebonyi House of Assembly as valid; to compel Nwazunku to
surrender the properties of the House under his possession to her, as
well as refrain the Commissioner of Police in Ebonyi State from
according recognition to Nwazunku lead administration.

Justice Chinyere Ken Eze has adjourned the case to 19th of next month.
This means that the House of Assembly leadership tussles is ongoing.
Until the Court rules, the position of speakership remains vacant.

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