A Federal High Court in Lagos has ordered the Federal Government of Nigeria to recover all the pensions and allowances which former state governors who served or still serving as senators or ministers collected.
In 2017, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) filed a suit against the Federal Government. The suit seeks to stop former governors from receiving double pay and life pensions.
While announcing the judgement of the suit today, SERAP said it has obtained a certified copy of the judgement which Justice Oluremi Oguntoyinbo delivered a week ago.
The Landmark Judgement
In the judgment, Justice Oluremi ordered the Federal Government to recover pensions collected by former governors now serving as ministers and members of the National Assembly.
He also directed the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami, SAN to “challenge the legality of states’ pension laws permitting former governors and other ex-public officials to collect such pensions”.
The judge said: “The Attorney General has argued that the States’ laws duly passed cannot be challenged. With respect, I do not agree with this line of argument by the Attorney General that he cannot challenge the States’ pension laws for former governors.
The judge submitted that the Attorney General should have interest in the “legality or validity of any law in Nigeria; and how such laws affect or will affect Nigerians, being the Chief Law Officer of the Federation”.
If the Federal Government obeys this judgement, it will affect the following names according to SERAP; Rabiu Kwankwaso, Theodore Orji, Abdullahi Adamu; Sam Egwu, Shaaba Lafiagi, Joshua Dariye; Bukola Saraki, Godswill Akpabio and Jonah Jang.
Others are: Ahmed Sani Yarima Danjuma Goje; Bukar Abba Ibrahim, Adamu Aliero, George Akume; Biodun Olujimi, Enyinaya Harcourt Abaribe, Rotimi Amaechi; Kayode Fayemi, Chris Ngige and Babatunde Fashola.
The judge adjourned the suit to February 3, 2020, for hearing on the report of compliance with the court orders.