The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP, has sued the Federal Government over its “failure to stop former governors and now serving senators and ministers from receiving double pay and life pensions, and failure to seek recovery of over N40 billion of public funds unduly received by these public officers.”
The suit is seeking the following reliefs:
An order granting leave to the Applicant to apply for Judicial Relief and to seek an order of Mandamus directing and or compelling the Respondent 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.
The organisation is also arguing that “Senators and ministers should not be receiving salaries and pensions running into billions of naira from states that are currently unwilling or unable to pay their workers’ salaries and pensioners’ entitlements. National and international laws implicitly forbid public officials entrusted with public resources from granting to themselves emoluments for life while serving in other public offices including as senators and ministers.”
It would be recalled that following SERAP’s letter to Mr. Malami, Senate President Bukola Saraki told the News Agency of Nigeria Forum in Abuja yesterday, that he wrote a letter to the state government to stop the payment of the pension “the moment I saw that SERAP allegation.” He said, “No, I’m not collecting pension; the moment I saw that allegation, I wrote to my state to stop my pension.”
So far, Kayode Fayemi Minister of Mines and Steel Development and his counterparts in the Ministry of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, and Minister of Power, Works and Housing Babatunde Fashola have denied ever receiving double payments and retirement benefits as former governors in addition to other roles in public office.