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Home Politics Today SERAP Wants Babatunde Fashola’s Life Pension Stopped

SERAP Wants Babatunde Fashola’s Life Pension Stopped2 min read

Some ex-governors and their deputies are now Senators and Ministers still collecting fat allowances and the pension at the same time. With two hands, they are eating the nation’s future

So far these men have collected about 40 billion Naira of public funds.

This is according to a group, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP).

They are asking the Federal Government to bring an end to this bonanza.

In an open letter sent to the Attorney-General and the Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SERAP wants the Minister to defend public interest and exercise his powers under Section 174(1).

The group asked the Minister to urgently 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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The organisation also asked Mr Malami to “seek full recovery of over 40 billion Naira of public funds that have so far been received from those involved; and to begin to take these steps within 7 days of the receipt and/or publication of the letter made public on Friday.

It threatened to institute legal proceedings to compel the discharge of constitutional duty and full compliance with Nigeria’s international anti-corruption obligations and commitments.”

In the letter dated 14 July 2017 and signed by SERAP’s Executive Director, Adetokunbo Mumuni, the organisation said: “Public interest is not well served when government officials such as former governors, deputies supplement their emoluments in their current positions with life pensions and emoluments drawn from their states’ meagre resources”.

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SERAP claimed that the ex-governors by their actions prioritised their private or personal interests over and above the greatest happiness of the greatest number.”

The groups said: “According to our information, those who currently receive double emoluments and large severance benefits from their states include: Dr. Bukola Saraki (Kwara); Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso (Kano); Kabiru Gaya (Kano); Godswill Akpabio (Akwa Ibom); Theodore Orji (Abia); Abdullahi Adamu (Nasarawa); Sam Egwu (Ebonyi); Shaaba Lafiagi (Kwara); Joshua Dariye (Plateau), and Jonah Jang (Plateau)”.

Others include Ahmed Sani Yarima (Zamfara); Danjuma Goje (Gombe); Bukar Abba Ibrahim (Yobe); Adamu Aliero (Kebbi); George Akume (Benue); Ms Biodun Olujimi (Ekiti); Enyinaya Harcourt Abaribe (Abia); Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers), Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti); Chris Ngige (Anambra); and Babatunde Fashola (Lagos).

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The organisation highlighted that under the Lagos Pension Law, a former governor will enjoy the following benefits for life: 2 houses, 1 in Lagos and another in Abuja estimated to cost between 500 million Naira and 700 million Naira.

Others are six brand new cars replaceable every 3 years; furniture allowance of 300% of annual salary to be paid every 2 years, and a close to 2.5 million Naira as pension (about 30 million Naira pension annually); free medicals including for his immediate families; 10% house maintenance; 30% car maintenance; 10% entertainment; 20% utility; and several domestic staff”.

Different states in Nigeria also have different provisions made for the ex-governors and their deputies, some with 100% of the governors’ salary retained as pension.