By Innocent Anaba
Former governor of Rivers State, Sir Celestine Omehia, has appealed against the decision of the Federal High Court, Abuja, which held that Governor Rotimi Ameachi’s four year tenure will end on May 28, 2011.
Omehia in the appeal before the Appeal Court, Abuja, is contending that the suit, which verdict was delivered by the lower court was commenced by originating summons for the interpretation of the Supreme Court decision in Amaechi V. INEC (2008) and that he was the only party not joined as a party in the lower court. Omehia said he only got to know about the existence of the suit after judgement had been delivered by the lower court.
Omehia, who said he was desirous of contesting the next gubernatorial election in Rivers State, a position he occupied before he was removed by the Supreme Court, argued that he had already purchased a declaration of intent form of his party, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and that the date for holding the next governorship election in Rivers State by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, will depend on the outcome of the appeal.
He is contending in the appeal that the trial judge at the lower court erred in law in assuming jurisdiction to interprete the judgement of the Supreme Court in Amaechi Vs. INEC and making consequential orders thereupon.
Omehia, in the alternative, wants the court to declare that having regard to the fact that Governor Amaechi took oath of allegiance and oath of office as the elected governor of Rivers State on October 26, his tenure of officer will expire on October 25, 2011.
He is urging the Appeal Court to allow the appeal as well as make an order upholding the ratio in Obi V. INEC, namely, that the tenure of office of Governor Amaechi( 3rd respondent) is based on section 180(2)(a) of the 1999 constitution.