Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt
A High Court in Isiokpo, headquarters of Ikwerre local government area of Rivers State has granted an injunction and leave to the Governor of Rivers State, Siminalayi Fubara, to serve all processes filed in the suit against the House of Assembly of Rivers State, the Speaker of the House of Assembly, the Clerk, and the Chief Judge of Rivers State.
The court directed that all processes filed in the suit be served on the House of Assembly by publishing in two different Nigerian National Daily Newspapers, “This Day Newspaper” and “Nation Newspaper.”
The order of substitute services and injunction was signed by the Assistant Registrar, Mr. Wachukwu Anthony Ogurie.
About a month ago, Presiding Judge, Justice Ben Whyte of the Court had issued the order following deposition of the motion Exparte against the defendants by Damian Okoro, SAN, Governor Siminalayi Fubara.
Fubara had approached the Rivers State High Court to stop the Rivers State House of Assembly from proceeding with the impeachment proceedings against him pending the hearing and determination of the suit he filed before the court.
The order of substituted service reads, ” That leave be and is hereby granted to the Claimant/Applicant to effect service of the Originating Summons, Motion on Notice for Interlocutory Injunction, Order for maintenance of status quo, and all other subsequent processes in this suit on the 1st and 4th Defendants by substituted means, to wit: by publication in “This Day Newspaper” and “Nation Newspaper.”
“That in addition to the publication of the processes in the above National Daily Newspapers, the claimant or applicant shall effect service of the processes by pasting them at the gate of the residence or office of the 1st, 4th, and 5th Defendants.
“The parties in this case maintain the status quo in this case by not doing anything in furtherance of the purported impeachment of the applicant as the Governor of Rivers State pending the determination of the Motion on Notice.”
This case is adjourned to the 4th day of December, 2023, for the argument of the Motion for Interlocutory Injunction.
The bailiff of the Rivers High Court has since complied with the order of the court by publishing the court processes as directed by the court and pasting same on gate of the Rivers State House of Assembly.
It be recalled that the Rivers State House of Assembly, led by Speaker Martins Amaewhule, had earlier served notice of impeachment proceedings against the governor, which the State Governor, Sir Siminialayi Fubara. And the Governor had challenged the house to come out and tell the public what his offences are to warrant an impeachment.