Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, SAN, has urged the Senate President, Senator Godswill Akpabio and other former governors in the executive and legislature to emulate the example of Senators Daniel and Dankwambo by rejecting the payment of “illegal pension” forthwith.
Falana, who is the chairman of Alliance on Surviving Covid 19 and Beyond, made the call in a statement on Sunday.
The senior lawyer recalled that in compliance with court judgments, “Senators Gbenga Daniel and Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo have requested the governors of Ogun and Gombe States, respectively, to stop paying them the scandalous pension.”
He commended Daniel and Dankwambo, saying that their action is highly commendable at a time when not less than 20 former governors in the executive and legislative branches of government are receiving double salaries.
According to Falana, in a landmark judgment delivered on November 26 2019, Justice Oluremi Oguntoyinbo (now retired) declared the payment of the pension illegal and unconstitutional.
“Consequently, the Court ordered the Accountant-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice to recover the life pensions collected by former governors serving as Senators and Ministers.
“Similarly, in suit NO: NICN/JOS/26/2016 (Alhaji Garba Umar v Taraba State Government) Justice K. I. Amadi of the National Industrial Court declared as null and void the payment of pension and gratuity to former governors and deputy governors. The pension was provided for in Taraba State Governor and Deputy Governor’s Pension Law 2015,” the statement read in part.
Falana has been vocal against the payment of pension to ex-governors, especially those elected as legislators or appointed in the Federal Executive after their tenures as governor.