Court orders FG to recover money collected by former governors as pension

Ebun Francis|A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos on Wednesday ordered the Federal Government to recover the funds paid to former governors now serving as ministers and members of the national assembly since leaving office as state chief executives.

The court also directed the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice to challenge the legality of states’ pension laws permitting former governors and other public officials to collect such pensions.

Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) disclosed this in a statement signed on Wednesday by its Deputy Director Kolawole Oluwadare.

The rights group also disclosed this in a series of tweets on its official Twitter handle, @SERAPNigeria.

SERAP tweeted, ”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”.

”Justice Oluremi Oguntoyinbo delivered the judgement following an application for an order of mandamus brought by the SERAP”.

Justice Oguntoyinbo, according to the tweet, disagreed with the Attorney General and Minister of Justice who had maintained that the states’ laws duly passed cannot be challenged.

She insisted that the Attorney General should be interested in the legality or validity of any law in Nigeria and how such laws affect or will affect Nigerians

In the words of Justice Oguntoyinbo, “the attorney general is hereby directed 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 and to identify those involved and seek full recovery of public funds from the former governors.”

It will be realled that Zamfara State House of Assembly last week abolished pension for former governors and other public officers in the state, a development that was widely commended by Nigerians.

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