Ex-Governors, deputies collect N40b in double pay

Abubakar Malami, Attorney-General and Justice Minister:

Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has nudged the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Mr. Abubakar Malami, SAN to institute legal action to recover over N40 billion dubiously earned in double payment, by former Nigerian state governors, who are now either senators or ministers.

SERAP made the appeal in an open letter to Malami released today, saying the former gorvenors and their deputies are drawing the dubious payments based on retirement and pension laws crafted by them while in office.

It alleged that Senate President Dr. Bukola Saraki (Kwara); Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso (Kano); Kabiru Gaya (Kano); Godswill Akpabio (Akwa Ibom); Theodore Orji (Abia); Abdullahi Adamu (Nasarawa); Sam Egwu (Ebonyi); Shaaba Lafiagi (Kwara), are among former governors receiving double emoluments and large severance benefits from their states.

Others mentioned are Joshua Dariye (Plateau), Jonah Jang (Plateau), Ahmed Sani Yarima (Zamfara); Danjuma Goje (Gombe); Bukar Abba Ibrahim (Yobe); Adamu Aliero (Kebbi); George Akume (Benue); Ms Biodun Olujimi (Ekiti); Enyinaya Harcourt Abaribe (Abia); Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers), Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti); Chris Ngige (Anambra); and Babatunde Fashola (Lagos).

SERAP urged Malami to use his “good offices as a defender of public interest” 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.”

The organization also asked Mr Malami to “seek full recovery of over N40 billion of public funds that have so far been received from those involved; and to begin to take these steps within seven days of the receipt and/or publication of this letter, failing which SERAP will institute legal proceedings to compel the discharge of constitutional duty and full compliance with Nigeria’s international anti-corruption obligations and commitments.”

In the letter dated 14 July 2017 and signed by SERAP executive director Adetokunbo Mumuni the organisation said that, “Public interest is not well served when government officials such as former governors, deputies supplement their emoluments in their current positions with life pensions and emoluments drawn from their states’ meagre resources, and thereby prioritising their private or personal interests over and above the greatest happiness of the greatest number.”

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