The Federal High Court in Port Harcourt has fixed December 5 to commence hearing in the lawsuit filed by the factional Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Edison Ehie, seeking to take control of the state legislature.
Ehie had announced his emergence as Speaker following the crisis that rocked the Assembly in the wake of the move by the original Speaker, Martin Amaewhule, and 23 other lawmakers to impeach Governor Siminialayi Fubara.
He later filed the suit, praying the court to restrain Amaewhule from parading himself as Speaker or presiding over the affairs of the House.
Earlier, the court had ordered parties to maintain the status quo pending the hearing and determination of Ehie’s suit.
But Ehie later commenced contempt proceedings against Amaewhule, alleging that his faction conducted legislative proceedings despite the court order.
At the Monday’s proceedings, two lawyers clashed over the right to represent Ehie in the matter.
A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, K.C.0. Njemanze, told the court that he had been hired to take over from N O. Akporuvweku, who was originally in charge of the case.
But Akporuvweku argued that he had yet to be served any notice of change in counsel and insisted that he and the team remained the plaintiff’s counsel.
Meanwhile, counsel for the first and second defendants, Ferdinand Oshoke, prayed the court to consolidate and accelerate hearing on all applications filed in the matter since the matter borders on the legislative arm of government.
Justice Phoebe Ayua adjourned the case till December 5 to enable Ehie’s lawyers to regularsze their appearances and also for parties in the matter to serve processes on each other.