Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN) has called on former governors in the Senate to stop collecting pensions from their states.
In a suit filed by SERAP, while giving an update, Falana disclosed that Justice Oluremi Oguntoyinbo during the ruling, declared the payment of the pension illegal and unconstitutional.
The activist lawyer urged the former governors to emulate Senators Gbenga Daniel and Ibrahim Dankwanbo who have stopped collecting pensions, following their election into the Senate.
Falana said since the Houses of Assembly of Kwara, Imo, and Zamfara states have abolished the governors’ pension scheme, other Houses of Assembly should follow suit without any delay.
Falana said: “In the suit number FHC/L/CS/1497/2017 (Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) v Attorney General of the Federation) filed at the Federal High Court, the plaintiff challenged the constitutional validity of the scandalous pension paid to former governors in Nigeria.
“In a landmark judgment delivered on November 26, 2019, Justice Oluremi Oguntoyinbo (now retired) declared the payment of the pension illegal and unconstitutional. Consequently, the court ordered the Accountant-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice to recover the life pensions collected by former governors serving as senators and ministers.
“Similarly, in suit number NICN/JOS/26/2016 (Alhaji Garba Umar v Taraba State government) Justice K. I. Amadi of the National Industrial Court declared as null and void the payment of pension and gratuity to former governors and deputy governors. The pension was provided for in Taraba State Governor and Deputy Governor’s Pension Law 2015.
“In compliance with both judgments, Senators Gbenga Daniel and Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo have requested the governors of Ogun and Gombe states, respectively, to stop paying them the scandalous pension.
“This is highly commendable at a time when not less than 20 former governors in the executive and legislative branches of government are receiving double salaries.”