SERAP Sues Tinubu Over ‘Failure To Stop Wike, Umahi, Others From Collecting Retirement Benefits’


few politicians.”

“Compelling President Tinubu to stop the former governors from collecting any ‘retirement benefits’ would ensure that the exercise of presidential power of appointment is entirely consistent with requirements of the Nigerian Constitution and the fundamental principles of integrity and honesty.”

“The following former governors are now ministers in the Tinubu administration: Badaru Abubakar (former governor of Jigawa State and Minister of Defence); and Nyesom Wike (former governor of River State and FCT Minister).”

“Others include: Bello Matawalle (former governor of Zamfara State and Minister of State for Defence); Adegboyega Isiaka Oyetola (former governor of Osun State and Minister of Transportation); and David Umahi (Minister of Works).”

“Others are Simon Bako Lalong (former governor of Plateau State and Minister of Labour and Employment); Atiku Bagudu (former governor of Kebbi State and Minister of Budget and Economic Planning); Ibrahim Geidam (former governor of Yole State and Minister of Police of Affairs.”

“The states currently implementing life pensions and other ‘retirement benefits’ for former governors reportedly include Jigawa, Kebbi, Jigawa, Ebonyi, Yobe, and Rivers. These states owe workers’ salaries and remain the poorest in the country.”

“Several of the pension laws in these states include provisions for six cars every three years, a house in Lagos worth N750 million, and another in Abuja worth N1 billion, unrestricted access to medical attention, and pensionable cooks, stewards, and gardeners.”

“Other provisions include 100 per cent annual salaries of the incumbent governor, security operatives and police officers permanently assigned to former governors.”

“In President Tinubu’s inaugural speech as president, he promised that his administration would be guided by ‘the principle of the rule of law, a shared sense of fairness and equity’, and that ‘Nigeria will be governed according to the constitution.’”

“These commitments are consistent with the constitutional duties under sections 5, 130 and 147, and oath of office, under the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).”

“By the combined reading of these provisions, the Tinubu government has a legal obligation to appoint as ministers former governors whose conduct is entirely consistent and compatible with constitutional and international legal requirements.”

“The country’s international legal obligations especially under the UN Convention against Corruption also impose a legal commitment on public officials to discharge a public duty truthfully and faithfully.”

“Life pensions for former governors serving as ministers are entirely inconsistent and incompatible with the Nigerian Constitution and the country’s obligations under the UN Convention against Corruption.”

“The convention specifically in paragraph 1 of article 8 requires the Tinubu government to promote integrity, honesty and responsibility in the management of public resources.”

“Furthermore, Justice Oluremi Oguntoyinbo in a judgment dated 26 November, 2019 also indicated that double emoluments for former governors are unacceptable, unconstitutional and illegal. Indeed, former governors collecting ‘retirement benefits’ while serving as ministers would clearly amount to taking advantage of entrusted public positions.”

“‘Public function’ means activities in the public interest, not against it. The alleged collection of ‘retirement benefits’ by former governors now serving as ministers amount to private self-interest or self-dealing. It is also detrimental to the public interest.”

No date has been fixed for the hearing of the suit.