Omehia not a former governor, can’t be paid pension

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Omehia not a former governor, can’t be paid pension

By Oluyemi Ogunseyin

26 March 2024   |  
2:18 pm

The Rivers State High Court sitting in Port Harcourt has ruled that Celestine Omehia can not receive the pensions meant for former governors and their deputies because he is not a former governor of the state. The immediate past governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, withdrew the recognition accorded to Omehia in 2023 while the…

Celestine Omehia not recognized as a former governor

The Rivers State High Court sitting in Port Harcourt has ruled that Celestine Omehia can not receive the pensions meant for former governors and their deputies because he is not a former governor of the state.

The immediate past governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, withdrew the recognition accorded to Omehia in 2023 while the now Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, also asked him to refund all the pensions he had been paid as a former governor.

Omehia thereafter decided to take the case to court and on Tuesday, Justice Daketima Kio, ruled on the matter in a 97-page judgment that took almost three hours to read.

Justice Kio in his judgement said that the counterclaim made by the state government asking Omehia to repay the amount of N695m was lacking in merit because he did not force anybody to pay him the money.

The Senior State Counsel, Gilbert Success, representing the Rivers state government, said he was satisfied with the judgement made by Kio but the counsel to Omehia refused to talk.

Success, however, did not mention whether or not the Rivers State Government would proceed to take any further action on the matter.

Omehia replaced Peter Odili as governor of Rivers State on May 29, 2007, despite Rotimi Amaechi going to court to challenge the primary election that brought in Omehia.

After a legal tussle, Omehia was removed as Rivers State Governor following the court’s ruling that Amaechi was the validly elected candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Wike initially enacted a law recognising Omehia as governor but in 2023, the now FCT Minister decided to withdraw the recognition given to Omehia and asked him to refund all the pensions he had been paid.

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