New Telegraph

February 23, 2024

Intrigue: Rivers Assembly strips Omehia of ex-gov status

…to refund N600m benefits, N96.5m pension
…House terminates all other privileges, entitlements

Sheathe your swords –NEC members tell Wike, others

The Rivers State House of Assembly has adopted a bill directing Governor Nyesom Wike to strip Sir Celestine Omehia of his title as a former governor of the state. The lawmakers also is-sued Omehia a seven-day ultimatum to refund the sum of N600 million, which he allegedly received in benefits and another N96.5 million pension.

The bill is titled: “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.” The bill, which was sponsored by Hon. Martins Amaewhule, the Majority Leader in the House and member representing Obio/Akpor Constituency, also seeks to stop Omehia from using the title of “His Excellency” because there was never a time he was elected as governor. Part of the bill presented by Amawhule reads: “Call on the Executive Governor of Rivers State to derecognize Sir Celestine Omehia as a former governor of Rivers State and also terminate all privileges…and entitlements accruing to all former governors of Rivers State that are currently being extended to him.

“Direct Sir Celestine Omehia to cease forthwith from using the title ‘His Excellency’ and suffix the ‘Grand Service Star of Rivers State’ GSSRS which appertains to only governors or former governors of Rivers State. “Direct that Sir Celestine Omehia refund all monies paid to him by the Rivers State Government as benefits and entitlements, particularly the sum of N600, 000, 000 only being benefits and N96, 529, 359, 40 only being monthly pensions to the treasury of the Rivers State Government within seven days from the date of this house resolution.” Omehia, a close ally of Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), was governor of the state from May 29, 2007 to October 25, 2007, was removed by the Supreme Court for Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi as the rightful governorship candidate of the PDP at the time.

Wike, who officially recognised Omehia as a former governor of the state in 2015, as, however, fallen out with him over his open support for Atiku, who is currently locked in battle with the Rivers State government over Iyorchia Ayu’s continued stay as National Chairman of the party. Why Wike wants the Benue State politician to vacate his position and allow a Southern take over since the party’s presidential candidate is also from the same part of the country as Ayu, Atiku is insisting that this can only happen in accordance with the constitution of the party, which presently means should Ayu agree to step aside another official from the same zone will take over.

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