I’ve written to the Kwara state govt to stop paying me pension, says Saraki

BUKOLA SARAKI

Bukola Saraki, Senate President, says he has stopped receiving pension in Kwara as a former Governor of the state.

Speaking at a NAN forum in Abuja, Saraki said that after the allegation by Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) that some former governors were receiving double pay from their state governments, he wrote a letter to the Kwara State government to stop paying him pension.

“No, I’m not collecting pension; the moment I saw that allegation, I wrote to my state to stop my pension,” he said. “So I speak for myself on that part. I’m not doing that; I am not receiving pension from my state.”

On other senators involved in the alleged double pay, he said: “I think I will leave everybody to their individual decision. Morally, if you have got another job, you should give it up until when you are truly a pensioner.

“Some of these oversights are not addressing the issues. What the states should do is to go and amend their laws to say that if you have another appointment then you are not entitled to that benefit. With this, we will just simplify the matter.”

On July 16, SERAP asked Abubakar Malami, Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, to institute legal action on behalf of the Nigerian people to recover over N40 billion dubiously earned in double payments by former state governors who are now either senators or ministers.

SERAP made the appeal in an open letter to Malami signed by Adetokunbo Mumuni, its Executive Director.

It alleged that the former governors and their deputies were drawing the dubious payments based on retirement and pension laws they crafted while in office.






     

     

    The organisation said Malami must, within seven days of receipt of the letter, institute the legal action. It warned that it would institute legal proceedings to compel the discharge of constitutional duty and full compliance with Nigeria’s international anti-corruption obligations and commitments if the Attorney General fails to take action.

    The human rights group specifically alleged that Bukola Saraki, Senate President; 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.

    It listed others as 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.

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