The House of Representatives on Friday said it could not take formal action on the political crisis currently engulfing Rivers State as it had not yet been brought before the National Assembly.
This was evident from an interview with the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Phillip Agbese.
Siminalayi Fubara, the Governor of Rivers State, has been embroiled in an ongoing conflict with Nyesom Wike, the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory and his predecessor.
The issue has caused division in the House of Representatives as Wike-supporting lawmakers push for Fubara's impeachment.
Following the crisis, an explosion was seen at the Assembly complex on October 29, and Wike filed a complaint against the governor for the same.
Wike stated that Fubara should have addressed him directly on the issue instead of ordering people to “burn the sacred chambers,” and Fubara acknowledged that he was still loyal to the previous governor.
According to a December 8 PUNCH article, Fubara stated that he would not give up his mission to serve, defend and advance the fortunes of the state, regardless of the level of deliberate sabotage.
The state government on Wednesday demolished the State House of Assembly.
In a statement released on Wednesday, the state Commissioner for Information and Communications, Joseph Johnson, said the decision was a result of the fire that completely damaged goods worth millions of naira, rendering the building unfit for legislative business.
A number of commissioners have resigned over the statehood issue, and 27 MPs who supported Wike have switched from the People's Democratic Party to the All Progressives Congress.
The 1999 Constitution (as amended), sections 11(4) and (5) provides that the National Assembly may take control of the state houses of assembly until the issue facing it is resolved.
Paragraph (4) provides: “At any time when a House of Representatives of a State is unable to discharge its functions on account of the situation prevailing in that State, the National Assembly may make such laws for the peace, order and the good governance of that state. state with respect to matters upon which a House of Representatives may legislate, as they arise.”
Subsection (5) states: “For the purposes of subsection (4) of this Article, a House of Representatives shall not be deemed incapable of discharging its functions while the House of Representatives is able to sit and transact business.”
Agbese said the disagreement has not yet been brought to the Federal House, citing reasons why the National Assembly is for the time being unable to act on the situation and take control of the House of Representatives.
“It is true that there is constitutional support for the National Assembly to intervene when there are identified crisis situations in a state house of assembly that is unable to discharge its duties.
“The 10th House has not been informed of any crisis. Without formal notice, there is not much we can do by intervening in the crisis, but it is our wish that the matter be resolved amicably so that the Rivers legislators can do the job they are put through their government has been elected. people. This is all I can say for now,” Agbese said exclusively while speaking to Saturday PUNCH.