By Nwafor Sunday
The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), has commended the Lagos state governor over move to repeal the controversial law on pensions for former governors and deputies.
The non-governmental organisation, welcomed the development, noting that it complied with the judgment by Justice Oguntoyinbo, Federal High Court, Lagos in SERAP v. AGF, ordering the Nigerian Government to recover pensions collected by ex-governors and their deputies and to challenge the legality of pension laws in several states.
Read the full statement:
“SERAP welcomes the decision today by Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu to repeal the Public Office Holder (Payment of Pension Law 2007), which provides for payment of pension and other entitlements to former Governors and their Deputies.
“This is a welcome development, as it complies with the judgment by Justice Oguntoyinbo, Federal High Court, Lagos in SERAP v. AGF, ordering the Nigerian Government to recover pensions collected by ex-governors and their deputies and to challenge the legality of pension laws in several states.
“SERAP urges the AGF Abubakar Malami, SAN to immediately fulfil his promise to enforce the judgment in suit number FHC/L/CS/1497/2017 to recover pensions already collected & challenge the legality of ALL life pension laws in several states across the country.
“Mr Malami had in February 2020 asked SERAP to “send the full list of former governors and ministers that have received and/or receiving double pay and life pensions in order to enhance and ensure compliance with the judgment of the court.”
“Mr Malami said: “I am writing to inform SERAP to furnish me with the full list of the former governors and ministers which are affected by the judgment by Justice Oluremi Oguntoyinbo, in order to enhance and ensure compliance with the ruling. Please, treat with utmost urgency.”
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“However, despite SERAP sending the list, Mr Malami has not taken steps to enforce the judgment.
“While sending the list to Mr Malami, SERAP had said: “We welcome your request for the full list of former governors and ministers. Any further delay in the enforcement of the judgment will continue to undermine the authority and integrity of the Nigerian judiciary.
“Nigerians cannot wait for you to take legal action to scrap states’ pension laws and fully recover the public funds collected.
“Immediate obedience to the judgment will be a victory for the rule, and provide an impetus for the government’s anti-corruption fight.
“It will also be a rare piece of good news for the people of Nigeria as it will send a powerful message to former governors and ministers that have collected and/or collecting double pay that they will be held to account for their actions and mark the end of state-level impunity.”