Saraki, others mandated by court to return pension earned as ex-govs

Just days after the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) took possession of his properties, former Senate President; Bukola Saraki may be engaged in another legal wrangle.

This was after the pronouncement of a Federal High Court in Ikoyi, Lagos State which ordered the recovery of pensions; collected by Saraki as well as other former governors; serving as ministers as well as members of the National Assembly.

The mandate also includes the recovery of earlier-paid pensions to these former political officeholders.

Abubakar Malami, the Attorney General of the Federation and also Minister of Justice; was also directed to challenge the legality of states’ pension laws; which allow former governors and other past public officials; to be entitled to such bogus pensions.

This was disclosed in a statement issued by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP); on Wednesday, December 4.

SERAP revealed it had obtained a certified true copy of the judgement; in a verdict delivered by Justice Oluremi Oguntoyinbo.

Justice Oguntoyinbo was also quoted thus, “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.”

Excerpt from the statement by SERAP reads, “The judgment is 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 Justice further queried the whole legal process especially when the law is not in the overall interest of the country.

“Who should approach the Court where a particular law is not in the best interest of Nigeria as a country or National interest? Who should approach the Court where a particular law is detrimental to the interest of the country?” he asked.

The lawsuit was adjourned to February 3, 2020, for hearing on the report of compliance with the court order by the Federal Government.

Ng daily

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