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Amendment of Assembly Service Commission Bill; Lawmakers lack power to override Gov Fubara – Rivers Chief of Staff

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Emmanuel Nlewedum, Port Harcourt

The Chief of Staff to the Rivers State Governor, Rt. Hon. Edison Ehie, has berated members of the Rivers State House of Assembly for overriding the governor on the passage of the Assembly Commission Amendment Bill into law.
Recall that the Martin Amaehwule-led Rivers lawmakers at its plenary on Friday, overrode the governor to pass the Assembly Service Commission Bill into law.
The law as repealed strips the governor off the power to appoint the Chairman and members of the State House of Assembly Service Commission, and vested it in the Assembly.
But Ehie in a statement released in Port Harcourt titled; “Can the Rivers State House of Assembly remove the power of the governor to appoint the chairman and members of the Rivers State House of Assembly Service Commission and transfer it to the house?” argued that the constitution gives only the governor of the state the power to appoint or remove the head of any government parastatal.
Ehie, who was a former deputy speaker of the assembly before the failed impeachment move against Governor Siminalayi Fubara on Monday, October 30, and later became a factional Speaker of the House during the recent political crisis, said the lawmakers lack the power to do so.
The Chief of Staff further argued that the provision in the Rivers State House of Assembly Service Commission (Amendment) Law, 2024, seeking to vest that power on the House is in clear contravention of the 1999 Constitution, and therefore, cannot stand.
He explained that the 1999 Constitution in Section 5(2) empowers only the executive powers of the state in the governor to make appointments to various executive bodies. Thus, the House of Assembly does not have the authority to make such appointments.
Ehie argued that the job of the Rivers State House of Assembly ends with the confirmation of the appointees as Section 198 of the 1999 Constitution gives the Governor the power of appointment into various executive bodies.
This is the second time the Rivers State House of Assembly overrode the governor to pass a law this year, 2024.
In January, the lawmakers voted to override the governor and pass four bills, including the local government amendment bill into law.

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