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Omehia loses as court fails to recognize him as ex-Rivers gov

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The Rivers State High Court has struck out the suit lodged in the form of an originating summon by Mr Celestine Omehia, seeking to reinstate his recognition as a former governor of Rivers State.

The court ruled that by the Supreme Court Judgement on Amaechi vs INEC & two others, Omehia remained an imposter and a pretender in the office of the governor of Rivers state.

Recall that In 2007, Omehia was elected and succeeded Dr Peter Odili as the governor of Rivers on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

However, Rotimi Amaechi approached the court to seek Omehia’s disqualification.

Amaechi cited irregularities in the primary election that produced Omehia as the PDP governorship candidate.

Subsequently, the court declared Amaechi as the duly elected candidate of the PDP and was sworn in as the governor of Rivers state.

Ameachi served two terms as governor of Rivers and was succeeded by Nyesom Wike.

During Wike’s administration as Rivers governor, Omehia was recognised as a former governor of the state.

However, in 2023, Wike derecognised Omehia as a former governor and demanded that he refund all the pension allowances he received from the state.

In reaction, Omehia filed the originating summon challenging the decision of the Rivers State House of Assembly to derecognise him as a former governor and the action of former governor Nyesom Wike to grant his assent and gazette the House decision.

While delivering judgement on Tuesday, Daketima Kio, the presiding judge, held that Omehia is not entitled to pension and other benefits as he is not a former governor of the state.

The Judge went on to say that beyond the woeful failure of the claimant to prove his case, the court, which is of subordinate jurisdiction has the duty to follow the decision of the Supreme Court in the case of Ameachi Vs. INEC which had described Omehia as an impostor and pretender, who was never a candidate of the PDP nor a former governor.

The judge said, “Once the Supreme Court takes a decision, that decision has the backing of the constitution.

“This court therefore finds and holds that the perceived rights to the relief sought by the claimant is irrevocably extinguished by the judgement of the Supreme Court in Rt. Hon. Rotimi Ameachi against INEC and two others, which held that Omehia remains no more than a pretender to the office of Governor of Rivers State.

“On the whole, the originating summons dated the 18th day of October 2022 being destitute of any merit should be dismissed because the claimant has failed to make out a case to justify the grounds of his declarative and injunctive reliefs sought of this honourable court.

“The exhibit which the claimant sought to rely on further exposed the poverty of his case in justifying this court to dismiss his case.”

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