Thursday, 5 December 2019

Saraki, Akpabio and others to refund pensions they collected as ex-govs


The Federal High Court in Ikoyi, Lagos, has ordered the government to recover all pensions collected by immediate-past President of the Nigerian Senate, Bukola Saraki, and other former governors now serving as ministers and members of the National Assembly.

The judgment by Justice Oluremi Oguntoyinbo followed an application for an order of mandamus in suit number FHC/L/CS/1497/2017 brought by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP).

The judgment is coming on the heels of the Zamfara state governor, Bello Muhammad Matawalle abolishing a law that allowed the payment of pension and other allowances to former governors and their deputies, which provided for the upkeep of ex-governors to the tune of N700 million annually. The state has produced three former governors since 1999.

In order to stop the traditional multiple payments which many have described as a daylight robbery, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), a civil society organisation, dragged the federal government to court to compel it to recover the pensions and allowances received by the former and serving senators as ex-governors which has reportedly accrued to about N40bn

Here's a list of former governors affected by the ruling:

1. Bukola Saraki (former Kwara state governor, former senator)

2. Godswill Akpabio (former Akwa Ibom state governor, former senator, now a minister)

3. Rabiu Kwankwaso (former Kano state governor, former minister, former senator)

4. Theodore Orji (former Abia state governor, now a senator)

5. Abdullahi Adamu (former Nasarawa state governor, now a senator)

6. Sam Egwu (former Ebonyi state governor, now a senator)

7. Shaaba Lafiagi (former Kwara governor, former senator)

8. Joshua Dariye (former Plateau state governor, former senator, now in jail over misappropriation of public funds)

9. Jonah Jang (former Plateau state governor, former senator)

10. Ahmed Sani Yarima (former Zamfara state governor, former senator)

11. Danjuma Goje (former Gombe state governor, former minister, now a senator)

12. Bukar Abba Ibrahim (former Yobe state governor, former senator)

13. Adamu Aliero (former Kebbi state governor, former minister, now a senator)

14. George Akume (former Benue state governor, former senator, Benue North-West, now a minister)

15. Biodun Olujimi (former Ekiti state deputy governor, now a senator)

16. Enyinaya Harcourt Abaribe (former Abia state deputy governor, now a senator)

17. Rotimi Amaechi (former Rivers state governor, now a minister)

18. Kayode Fayemi (Fayemi was appointed minister after his first as Ekiti state governor. He is back as the state governor following his re-election in 2018)

19. Chris Ngige (former Anambra state governor, former senator, now a minister)

20. Babatunde Fashola (former Lagos state governor, now a minister)

Meanwhile, the court also ordered Abubakar Malami, the attorney-general of the federation to institute appropriate legal actions to challenge the legality of states' laws permitting former governors, who are now senators and ministers to enjoy governors' emoluments while drawing normal salaries and allowances in their new political offices.




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