SERAP Drags Tinubu to Court Over Pension for Ex-Governors in Cabinet
By Adedapo Adesanya
The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has filed a suit against President Bola Tinubu over his failure to stop the former governors now serving as ministers in his administration from collecting life pensions and other retirement benefits from their states.
The ministers mentioned in the suit are Mr Badaru Abubakar, Mr Nyesom Wike, Mr Bello Matawalle, Mr Adegboyega Oyetola, Mr David Umahi, Mr Simon Lalong, Mr Atiku Bagudu and Mr Ibrahim Geidam.
In the suit number FHC/L/CS/1855/2023 filed last Friday at the Federal High Court in Lagos, the ministers are to be joined in the suit as Defendants.
The organisation is seeking “an order of mandamus to direct and compel President Tinubu to instruct the former governors who are now serving as ministers to stop collecting life pension, and other ‘retirement benefits’ from their respective states.
SERAP is also seeking “an order of mandamus to direct and compel President Tinubu to instruct the former governors who are now serving as ministers to forthwith return any pensions and ‘retirement benefits’ collected by them since leaving office to the public treasury.”
It further wants “a declaration that the failure by President Tinubu to publicly instruct former governors who are now serving as ministers to stop collecting life pensions, exotic cars, and other ‘retirement benefits’ from their states while serving as ministers is a violation of his constitutional oath of office.”
In the suit, filed by its lawyers, Mr Kolawole Oluwadare and Mr Andrew Nwankwo, SERAP pointed that, “Compelling and directing President Tinubu to stop the former governors from collecting any ‘retirement benefits’ while serving as ministers would serve the public interest, especially given the current grave economic realities in the country.”
“The appointment of those who collect life pensions and other ‘retirement benefits’ as ministers is an arbitrary and unlawful exercise of discretion and presidential power of appointment,” it further stated.
According to SERAP, “While many pensioners are not paid their pensions, former governors serving as ministers get paid huge severance benefits upon leaving office and are poised to enjoy double emoluments on top of the opulence of political office holders.”