A Federal High Court in Port Harcourt has issued Form 48 for contempt of court against the former Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Martin Amaewhule, and his deputy, Rt. Hon. Dumle Maol. The court action stems from an application made by the current Speaker, Rt. Hon. Ehie Ogerenye Edison, and the Rivers State House of Assembly for disregarding a court order issued on November 7, 2023.
The court order, filed under suit number FHC/PH/CS/240/2023, instructed all involved parties, including the Inspector General of Police, the Director of the Department of State Security Services in Rivers State, and the Commissioner of Police in Rivers State, not to take any action concerning the subject matter of the case until further notice.
Despite the court directive, the House of Assembly, led by Amaewhule, reportedly conducted a sitting with alleged police coverage on Monday, addressing various issues. Edison accused the former speaker of violating the court order by invading the Assembly and holding a session.
In response, the court issued Form 48, titled ‘Notice of Consequences of Disobedience of Order of Court,’ dated November 22, 2023, warning the contemnors of potential imprisonment unless they comply with the court order and maintain the status quo. The notice, signed by the registrar of the Federal High Court, Port Harcourt Judicial Division, explicitly cautions the individuals involved, stating that failure to adhere to the court’s directions constitutes contempt.
Justice Phoebe Ayua, who presided over the case, had previously issued an order directing all parties in the Rivers Assembly crisis to maintain the status quo and refrain from taking any action related to the case until the motion on notice is determined. The court proceedings are adjourned until November 27, 2023.