Promoting Good Governance.

Court Sacks Kogi Pension Boards

A Kogi High Court on Friday sacked the state and local government pension boards and the Pension Fund Management Commission.

The sack followed a suit filed by the state wing of the Nigerian Union of Pensioners, NUP, against the Kogi State government and the attorney-general.

Justice Henry Olusiyi, in his judgment, faulted the composition of the boards.

Olusiyi held that the appointment and inauguration of the board members by the state government was contrary Sections 17(1) and 18(1) of the state Pension Reform Law, 2007.

The judge, therefore, declared the constitution of the boards null, void and of no effect.

He held that the 1999 Edict from which the state government derived its powers to constitute the boards had become “obsolete”.

Olusiyi said the edict ceased to exist with the promulgation of the Pension Reform Law of 2007, which inherited all its powers.

“As the law presently stands, the first defendant can only appoint a Bureau for the State Government Pension and of Local Government pursuant to Section 17(1) of the 2007 Law, the composition of which shall be as provided for by the section 18 thereof,” the court held.

The presiding judge added that “Anything done to the contrary by the first defendant is a sham and an illegality. It is null and void and of no effect whatsoever.”

In their originating summons dated April 19 supported by a 23 paragraph affidavit, the claimants challenged the composition of the boards, alleging that the appointment and inauguration of members of the two boards on December 19, 2012, contravened the law.

The union further argued that the appointees of the boards were politicians and not civil servants as provided for by the law.

It urged the court to declare the appointment of heads and members of boards null and void and of no effect.