Collecting pension as ex-governor unlawful, Falana tells Akpabio, others

The Chairman of Alliance on Surviving COVID-19 and Beyond, Mr Femi Falana (SAN), has appealed to the Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, and other former governors to stop the collection of pensions as ex-governor.

Falana, a human rights lawyer, urged former governors to emulate Ogun State’s former governor, Gbenga Daniel, and former Gombe State governor, Ibrahim Dankwambo.

The senior lawyer stated that since the Kwara, Imo, and Zamfara states Houses of Assembly had abolished the Governors Pension Scheme, he admonished other Houses of Assembly to follow suit without any further delay.

Falana, in a statement on Sunday, also made reference to the judgment delivered on November 26 2019 by Justice Oluremi Oguntoyinbo (retd.) declaring the payment of the pension to former governors as illegal and unconstitutional.

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The plaintiff, an advocacy group, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project had filed the suit against the Attorney-General of the Federation) wherein it challenged the constitutional validity of the pension paid to former governors in Nigeria.

Justice Oguntoyinbo had in judgment in a suit marked number FHC/L/CS/1497/2017, declared the payment of the pension illegal and unconstitutional. Consequently, ordered the Accountant-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice to recover the life pensions collected by former governors serving as senators and ministers.

Falana noted that in compliance with both judgments, Daniel and Dankwambo had requested the governors of Ogun and Gombe States, respectively, to stop paying them the scandalous pension.

Falana said, “This is highly commendable at a time when not less than 20 former governors in the executive and legislative branches of government are receiving double salaries.

“In view of the foregoing, we call on Senator Akpabio and other former governors in the executive and legislature to emulate the example of Senators Daniel and Dankwambo by rejecting the payment of the illegal pension forthwith.”

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