Celestine Omehia not recognised as former Rivers governor, court rules

Kenneth Ibinabo
Kenneth Ibinabo
Celestine Omehia

A high court in Rivers has ruled that Celestine Omehia is not recognised as a former governor of the state.


In 2007, Omehia was elected and succeeded Peter Odili as 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 swore her 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.

At the time, Wike dismissed rumours that Omehia was recognised for being a member of Atiku Abubakar’s presidential campaign council in the PDP.

In reaction, Omehia headed to court, seeking to be recognised as a former governor of Rivers.

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.

However, the judge ruled that the demand by the state government for Omehia to refund N695 million “lacked merit because he did not compel anyone to pay him”.

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