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Court orders ex-governors who serve as senators, ministers to refund paid pensions

A federal high court in Lagos has ordered the federal government to recover pensions and allowances paid to former and serving ministers and senators that are ex-governors, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) said on Wednesday morning.

“We’ve obtained a landmark judgment from the federal high court ordering @NigeriaGov to recover life pensions collected by Saraki, Akpabio, others & directing the AGF to challenge the legality of states’ pension laws permitting former governors to collect such pensions,” SERAP wrote on Twitter.

SERAP sued the federal government in 2017 over its “failure to stop former governors from receiving double pay and life pensions”.

SERAP also sued the government for failing to seek the recovery of over “N40bn unduly received by the former governors” who are now serving senators and ministers.

The court ordered Nigeria’s attorney-general Abubakar Malami to institute appropriate legal actions to challenge the legality of states’ laws permitting former governors, serving as senators and ministers to benefit emoluments while drawing normal salaries and allowances in their new political offices.

The court adjourned till February 3, 2020, for a report of compliance with the judgement by the federal government.

Other individuals named by SERAP as beneficiaries of this policy are Rabiu Kwankwaso, Theodore Orji, Abdullahi Adamu, Sam Egwu, Shaaba Lafiagi, Joshua Dariye, Jonah Jang, Ahmed Sani Yarima, Danjuma Goje, Bukar Abba Ibrahim, Adamu Aliero, George Akume, Biodun Olujimi, Enyinaya Harcourt Abaribe, Rotimi Amaechi, Kayode Fayemi, Chris Ngige and Babatunde Fashola.

The court will continue hearing in the case in February 2020.

“We won’t rest until this judgment is fully enforced and ALL state governors follow the Zamfara state example by immediately abolishing pension laws in their states,” SERAP said on Wednesday.

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