Court orders Federal Government to recover former governors’ pensions

Court orders Federal Government to recover former governors’ pensions

A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has ordered the Federal Government to recover pensions collected by former governors now serving as ministers and members of the National Assembly.

The court also ordered the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Mr Abubakar Malami, SAN to challenge the legality of states’ pension laws permitting former governors and other ex-public officials to collect such pensions.”

A certified true copy of the judgment delivered last week was obtained yesterday.

The landmark judgment delivered by Justice Oluremi Oguntoyinbo followed an application for an order of mandamus in suit number FHC/L/CS/1497/2017 brought by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP).

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The judgment follows the recently 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 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.” Justice Oguntoyinbo said.

 “The question that comes to mind is, 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? Who should institute actions in court for the purpose of recovering public funds collected?

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In my humble view, 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, being the Chief Law Officer of the Federation.” Justice Oguntoyinbo added.

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