Rivers State House of Assembly has withdrawn its resolution recognizing Celestine Omehia, as former governor of the state, and restoration of all the entitlements due to him.
The House of Assembly has also ordered Omehia to refund all the monies paid to him by the state government, especially the sum of N600 million as benefits in addition to receipt of N96,520,359.40 only, as monthly pensions as September, 2022.
The resolution followed a motion presented on the floor of the House by the Leader, Martin Amaewhule.
Meanwhile, Governor Nyesom Wike, will on Friday sign the instrument on cancellation of the recognition of Omehia as a former governor of Rivers State.
The cancellation of the recognition was sequel to the resolution of the House of Assembly to derecognise Omehia as a former governor of the State.
House Leader, Amaewhule, representing Obio/Akpor Constituency I, had on Thursday, presented a motion to “Rescind the Rivers State House of Assembly Resolution on the Recognition of Sir Celestine Omehia as former governor of Rivers State and the restoration of all benefits and entitlements due to him”.
Amaewhule, in the motion, which he addressed to the Speaker and members of the House, recalled that on June 30, 2015, a motion was moved, seconded and argued upon and a resolution was passed in favour of recognition of Omehia as former governor of the state and the restoration of his privileges and entitlements.
He continued that based on the resolution of the House, the Rivers State Government through an instrument published in the Official Gazette of the state, No. 5, Volume 52, of March, 2016, under the hand of Governor Nyesom Wike, recognized Omehia as former governor and restored all the privileges and entitlements accruing to former Rivers governors.
The House Leader stated: “Pursuant to the official recognition, Sir Celestine Omehia received a lot in financial benefits and entitlements from the Rivers State Government including the sum of N600,000,000.00 only as benefits, in addition to receipt of a total sum N96,520,359.40 only, as monthly pensions as September, 2022.”
Amaewhule recalled that the Supreme Court of Nigeria in the case of Amaechi versus INEC and two others in 2008, had declared that the appellant (Chibuike Amaechi) was the actual or valid governorship candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State for the 2007 general election and not Omehia, who contested the election.
He further informed that the Supreme Court also held that “in the eyes of the law, Omehia was never a candidate in the election much less a winner.”
Sponsor of the motion (Amaewhule) stated that being mindful of the position of the apex court on the subject matter and in line with Section 287 (I) of the Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) provides that “the decisions of the Supreme Court shall be enforced in any part of the Federation by all authorities and persons, and by, courts and subordinate jurisdiction to that of the Supreme Court.”
He said that the continued recognition of Omehia as former governor of the state and the continued granting of privileges and entitlements accruing to all former governors of the state to him (Omehia) was not in tandem with the highlighted pronouncement of the apex court and the provisions of the 1999 constitution.
Amaewhule called on the governor to stop recognizing Omehia as former governor of Rivers State and also terminate all privileges, benefits and entitlements accruing to all former governors governors, which were also extended to him (Omehia).
He also urged the House to direct Omehia to stop using the title, “His Excellency” and suffix “Grand Service Star of Rivers State (GSSRS)”, which appertain to only governors and former governors of the state.
The leader also urged the House to direct Omehia to refund all the monies paid to him by the state government as benefits and entitlements, to the treasury of the state government within seven days from the date of the resolution of the House.