A Federal High Court in Port Harcourt on Monday ordered that a suit seeking the takeover of the functions of the Rivers Assembly by the National Assembly be transferred to the Abuja Division.

The court, presided over by Justice P. M. Ayua, said since the National Assembly listed as the 1st Respondent in the matter is located in Abuja and there is a similar action filed in the nation’s capital with same parties, the case in Port Harcourt should be sent to Abuja for hearing and determination.

The suit was filed by a lawyer, Kingsley Igbaki, and four others, with the Government of Rivers State and the Attorney-General of the State as second and third respondents.

It is praying for a declaration that the Rivers Assembly cannot perform its legislative functions after the prevailing factional and leadership crisis rocking it.

It also seeks an order directing the National Assembly to perform the legislative functions of Rivers Assembly in accordance with section 14(4) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).

Earlier, the lawyer to the applicants, Frank Ayebaekipreye, urged the court to make a declaration in favor of his prayers.

Ayebaekipreye insisted that all necessary legal processes had been filed and served to all respondents in the matter.

But the lawyer to the respondents, C. N Eke, drew the court’s attention to a similar matter before the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court, seeking an order restraining the National Assembly from taking over the legislative functions of Rivers State.

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