Court nullifies amendment to Rivers Assembly Commission Law

A High Court in Rivers State has nullified section three of the recently amended Rivers State House of Assembly Service Commission Law, which transferred the power to appoint the chairman and members of the commission from the governor to the Speaker of the House.

This amendment was enacted by the Martins Amaewhule-led Assembly after they vetoed Governor Siminalayi Fubara.

The Association of Legal Legislative Drafting and Advocacy Practitioners, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), challenged the amendment, seeking a court interpretation of its consistency with the Nigerian Constitution.

They asked the court to determine whether section three of the amended House of Assembly Service Commission Law No. 3 of 2024 aligned with constitutional provisions.

Justice Kariba Dagogo-Jack ruled that the amendment violated sections 5, 176, 197, and 198 of the Nigerian Constitution.

The judge clarified that the Constitution grants the exclusive right to appoint members of boards, commissions, and institutions, including the States Assembly Service Commission, to the executive governors of the states, subject to confirmation by the State Houses of Assembly.

Justice Dagogo-Jack stated that the court cannot permit such an amendment to stand, describing the actions of the Martin Amaewhule-led House of Assembly as an attempt to usurp the executive’s responsibilities, thereby violating the principle of separation of powers.

Consequently, she struck down section three of the law and issued a perpetual injunction preventing its enforcement.

After the judgement, Boma Owunabo, counsel for the NGO, described the ruling as a victory for the rule of law and good governance.



Tribune Online