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You’re Not Former Governor, Court Tells Omehia

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A Rivers State High Court sitting in Port Harcourt has ruled that Sir Celestine Omehia is not logically recognisable as a former governor of the state and as such, is not entitled to the recognition, pension and fringe benefits of a former governor.

Omehia, had approached the court in suit no PHC/3317/CS/2022, seeking for recognition as a former governor of the state and therefore entitled to pension and other benefits under the Rivers State former Governors and Deputy Governors Pension and Fringe Benefits Law.

But delivering judgement in the suit yesterday, Justice Daketima Kio held that upon a broad, holistic and proper interpretation of the Rivers State former Governors and Deputy Governors Pension and Fringe benefits law No 6 of 2012, Omehia could not establish a legal right to be entitled to the declarative and injunctive relives sought.

Concerning the request of the defendant for the claimant to refund N696,520,355.40 which Mr Omehia claimed he has already spent and can’t refund, Kio ruled that the defendants paid the funds on their own violation and cannot legitimately demand for the refund paid wrongly by themselves.

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The High Court went on to rule that the defendants counter claim can’t be entertained in an originating summons proceeding, saying that if the defendants were interested in claiming this money, they should go to court by themselves and not use the claimant’s case.

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 Amaechi 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.”

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

 



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