RIVERS GUBER: AMAECHI URGES S'COURT TO STOP OMEHIA
Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi has asked the Supreme Court to set aside the decision of the Court of Appeal, giving the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) governorship candidate for Rivers, Celestine Omehia, the go ahead to challenge a judgment of the Federal High Court which held that his (Amaechi's) tenure ended on May 29, 2011.
A chieftain of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Cyprian Chukwu, had approached a Federal High Court in Abuja for the interpretation of the Supreme Court judgment which in 2007 sacked Omehia from office and declared Amaechi as the governor of the state.
The applicant sought the determination of the court as to whether governorship election should be held in River State during the general elections of April, last year or later, since Amaechi took the oath of office in October 2007 and not May 29, when all other governors took the oath. Justice Abdul Kafarati, in his judgment held that governorship election in Rivers State must hold during the general elections of April following which the Independent National Election Commission (INEC) included Rivers in the list of states for the general elections.
In a quick response to the judgment, Omehia, who was not joined as a party in the suit then applied to the Court of Appeal to join him to enable him to file an appeal against the judgment. Amaechi, through his lawyer, Prince Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), opposed the application, arguing that Omehia was neither a necessary nor a desirable party. But Omehia said he was a party in the Supreme Court judgment, which the high court interpreted and that he was adversely affected by the judgment.
In an affidavit, he deposed to, Omehia said: 'I am dissatisfied with the judgment of the lower court and wish to appeal against same as a person interested in the matter and in the office of governor of Rivers State, which form the basis of my interest as well as a person interested in the interpretation of a judgment in which I was a principal party.'
He also said he wanted to seek election as governor of River State under the APGA flag and that for these two reasons, he deserved to be given the chance to challenge the judgment of the high court which he described as incorrect.
He said Cyprian Chukwu who filed the case at the high court and described himself as a governorship aspirant was a mere front for Amaechi, whom he said wanted election to be held in Rivers during the April general elections at all cost.