The Governor of Rivers state, Nyesom Wike has disclosed the reason the state House of Assembly derecognized Celestine Omehia as a former Governor of the state.
Wike explained that the reason the State 32-member legislature derecognized Omehia as former governor in 2015 was because of an extant Supreme Court judgment that ousted Omehia,
He stated this on Friday in Government House, Port Harcourt, when he signed a legal instrument into law de-recognizing Omehia as former governor of the state.
Kelvin Ebiri, media aide to the governor, disclosed the development via a statement made available to newsmen on Friday.
He said, “Yesterday, I received a resolution from the Assembly de-recognising Sir Celestine Omehia, who had enjoyed the privileges of a former governor of the State.
“But you will recollect that sometime in 2007/2008, my predecessor, His Excellency Chibuike Amaechi did not recognize Sir Celestine Omehia as a former governor of the State.
“When we came on board, there were issues and the Assembly felt that having served as governor, he should enjoy the status of a former governor.
“I’ve always respected the resolutions of the Assembly. I’ve never one day disagreed with anything the Assembly has sent to me.”
Speaking further, Wike explained that the reason they had decided to derecognize the former governor now was because they now have more information on the situation.
“The facts are the Supreme Court judgment categorically stated that Sir Celestine Omehia was never a governor, because he never stood for any election and that it will be inappropriate for their (assembly) legacy that they didn’t respect the judgment of the Supreme Court.
“In this part of our country, people will praise you when it suits them, but when you do the uncommon thing, people will not praise you,” he added.
He condemned those who alleged that the former governor was stripped of his position because he was no longer his ally, and now a member of the presidential campaign council of the Peoples Democratic Party.
Wike also pointed to the sum of money paid to Omehia as proof against those who peddled tales that government does not pay such benefits at all.
The governor said, “If this did not happen, nobody will even know that the State government has been coughing out such amount of money to pay as benefits.
“I’m sure, they must have told you that no benefits and all entitlements were never paid, that is what you hear everywhere.
“But yesterday, when it was revealed that the State government coughed out such amount of money to pay as benefits as recommended by the Assembly and now, they have sent the resolution to me, I thank God today, without looking back, I have signed it as instrument and it will be gazetted for record purposes.”