Segun Oni, Deputy National Chairman (South) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and party leaders on Monday addressed a press conference at the APC National Secretariat in Abuja on the spate of politically motivated killings, intimidation and alleged persecution of APC members in Rivers State.
The party leaders also decried the level of impunity in the Rivers State House of Assembly.
They said that despite a December 23, 2015, Court of Appeal ruling upholding the election of Hon. Victoria Wobo Nyeche, an APC member, to represent Port Harcourt 1 Constituency of Rivers State and a Certificate of Return issued by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) thereafter, the Rivers State House of Assembly has refused to administer Oath-of-Office to her.
Others at the press briefing held Monday night were Orji Ugofa, APC Deputy National Secretary; Dr. Davies Ibiamu Ikanya, Rivers State APC Chairman; Hon. Victoria Wobo Nyeche, Rivers State House of Assembly member representing Port Harcourt 1 Constituency of Rivers State, and Hon. Andrew Igbonule Uchendu, former member of the 7th House of Representatives from Rivers state.
Hon. Victoria Wobo Nyeche in her read statement said: “On December 23, 2015, a Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja upheld my April 11, 2015 election as a member of Rivers State House of Assembly. The Court of Appeal subsequently ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to issue me a Certificate of Return and that I should be sworn in as Honourable member of the Rivers State House of Assembly to represent Port Harcourt 1 state constituency of Rivers State. INEC has since issued me a Certificate of Return.
“On the February 12, 2016, I wrote to the Clerk of the Rivers State House of Assembly and also submitted my Certificate of Return which was acknowledged in the same letter, I requested that a date and venue for my swearing in be communicated to me either by phone or to the address which I provided in my letter.
“Surprisingly, absolutely nothing has been done till date nor any information communicated to me in respect of same.
“On April 21, 2016, I heard over the radio that State House of Assembly members who had not taken their oath of office will be sworn in on the 21st of April, 2016 at the State House of Assembly chambers at 9 a.m.
“I duly presented myself for the swearing in ceremony. The Clerk of the Rivers State House of Assembly refused to swear me in on the orders of the Speaker. Instead, the Speaker, Hon. Adams Daboturodima, read out a purported order by a lower court stopping my swearing-in.
“According to him, a Rivers State High Court presided by Justice Adolphus Enebili ordered that I should not be sworn in because there is a matter pending before him. This indeed came to me as a shock as neither my party nor I had been served with any originating processes of the Rivers State High Court nor any purported Order emanating from the Court.
“But from what we have heard over the radio and social media, one Livingston Wechie alleged that I impersonated myself by addressing myself as a member of the Rivers State House of Assembly when I have not been sworn in. This is strange. He went to the court praying for an order restraining me from being sworn in as a member of the Rivers State House of Assembly.
“It is obvious that this is a conspiracy against me and my party, the All Progressives Congress, since the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Nyesom Wike-led Rivers State administration failed woefully in their attempt to rig my election.
“They have been making spirited efforts to stop me from being returned since April 11, 2015. My case is the only one out of all the APC cases in Rivers State that the Court of Appeal ordered a return. Because they did not succeed then, they are now coming through the back door to deprive me of the mandate my people have freely given to me on the April 11, 2015 State House of Assembly elections. “Unfortunately, the Rivers State judiciary is being used to achieve this purpose. The Court of Appeal has returned me as a member of the Rivers State House of Assembly hence and by force of the law, no one no matter how highly placed can overturn the decision of the Court of Appeal which is the last court in adjudicating elections petition in State House of Assembly matters. The oath of office is an administrative issue which must be performed by the Clerk of the Rivers State House of Assembly,” she stated.
She called on the Clerk of the Rivers State House of Assembly to immediately administer the Oath-of –Office to me as a member of the Rivers State House of Assembly in compliance with the Court of Appeal judgment.
She also called on the Attorney General of the Federation and the National Judicial Commission (NJC) to rescue the Rivers State judiciary by calling Justice Adolphus Enebili to order for blatantly disregarding the decision of a court of higher jurisdiction.