Rivers Assembly Summons RISIEC, Judicial Commission Over Council Poll | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Rivers Assembly Summons RISIEC, Judicial Commission Over Council Poll

Posted: Jun 6, 2015 at 6:42 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

 

By Daniel Abia,

Port Harcourt

 

The Rivers State House of Assembly has ordered that the Chairman of the Rivers State Independent Electoral Commission (RISIEC), Prof. Augustine Ahiazu, and all the commissioners working with the commission to appear before the House on June 8, 2015, in connection with the Saturday, May 23, 2015 local government election.

The letter inviting the chairman and the commissioners which was signed by the Clerk of the House, Emmanuel Odum, stated that the chairman and his commissioners were expected to explain the role they played in the conduct of the last local government election.

Chairman of RISIEC and the commissioners serving with him were asked by the clerk of the House to appear with all necessary documents that will enable them explain their activities in the commission.

The clerk of the House also  summoned the Chairman and all commissioners serving in the Rivers State Judicial Service Commission (RSJSC) to appear before the House on June 8, 2015.

No reason was advanced for inviting members of the judicial commission, but it may not be unconnected with the role the commission played in the protracted strike embarked upon by the judiciary workers in the state under the aegis of the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN).

It would be recalled that the RSJSC issued a circular to all judiciary staff threatening to sack or discipline any staff within the service of the judiciary that honours or complies with any directive given by Justice Daisy Okocha after she was appointed an administrative chief judge by the National Judicial Council, (NJC) in June 2014.

 

Until the state high court opened its gates to judges, lawyers, litigants, detainees, the police and the public, on Monday, June 1, after Governor Nyesom Wike swore-in Justice Daisy Okocha, as the chief judge, at Government House, state courts were closed for 23 months.

Meanwhile, the state chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Dr. Davies Ibiamu Ikanya, has condemned the invitation sent to the Chairman of RiSEC, Prof. Augustine Ahiazu, and the commissioners serving in the commission, stressing that it was wrong for members of the House to invite them to speak on a matter that is before the court.

“The House of Assembly is aware that there are two suits before the Federal High Court relating to the May 23, local government elections. The first case was instituted by the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) at the federal high court whose members are currently members of the eighth Assembly. The matter is now even at the court of appeal”.

“The second suit was instituted by the elected local government chairmen and their councilors against the governor, the House of Assembly and others and the House have been duly served with the court processes.”

Ikanya urged members of the House to focus on making laws that will benefit the people of Rivers State rather than concentrate on matters that are currently pending in the courts “even though they have legislative  oversight functions over the two agencies.”