The Federal Government has been ordered to recover pensions paid to former governors now serving as Senators and Ministers of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
In a landmark judgment delivered on Wednesday, the Federal High Court in Lagos also directed the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, SAN to challenge the legality of states’ pension laws permitting former governors and other ex-public officials to collect such pensions.
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).
This is even as the Kwara State had abrogated pension law authorizing payment of monies to former governors, their deputies and any other person enshrined in the Act.
The judgment may be coming on the heels of the invalidated pension law for former governors and other ex-public officers in Zamfara state which provided for the upkeep of ex-governors to the tune of N700 million annually.
The court has adjourned to February 3, 2020, for the report of compliance with the judgment by the Federal government.
Reacting to the judgment on its Twitter account, SERAP wrote, “We won’t rest until this judgment is fully enforced and all state governors follow the Zamfara state example by immediately abolishing pension laws in their states”.
Here is SERAP’S tweets below
BREAKING: We’ve obtained a landmark judgment from the federal high court ordering @NigeriaGov to recover life pensions collected by Saraki, Akpabio, others & directing the AGF to challenge the legality of states’ pension laws permitting former governors to collect such pensions.
The court has adjourned to 3 February 2020 for a report of compliance with the judgment by the Federal government. We won’t rest until this judgment is fully enforced and ALL state governors follow the Zamfara state example by immediately abolishing pension laws in their states.
It would be recalled that some state governors had passed bills into law that will enable them to earn life pensions after their tenures. Some State House of Assembly Speakers and deputy speakers also enjoy the largesse at the detriment of the state.