The Federal Government has implored a good governance campaign group, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) to forward to it the full list of former governors and ministers that have collected and/or collecting double pay and life pensions.
The demand was contained in a letter by the attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, SAN, to the group.
Malami’s letter with reference number MJ/LIT/ABJ/CMC/661/793, was signed on his behalf by Anne C. Akwiwu (Mrs), Director Civil Litigation and Public Law Department.
He said the list of the governors and minister was important in order to “enhance and ensure compliance with the judgment of the court.”
The letter was consequent upon the judgment last year ordering the government to challenge the legality of states’ pension laws and recover public funds collected by former governors and ministers.
SERAP had earlier forwarded a letter to Abukabar Malami, SAN, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, urging him to advise and convince President Muhammadu Buhari to fully enforce the judgment.
In his reply dated 24 February 2020 but which SERAP said it received 2 March 2020, Mr Malami said: “Kindly refer to your letter dated 6th December, 2019. I am writing to inform your esteemed organization to furnish me with the full list of the former governors and ministers which are affected by the judgment by Justice Oluremi Oguntoyinbo, in order to enhance and ensure compliance with the ruling of the Honourable Court. Please, treat with utmost urgency.”
SERAP deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare in his response expressed the group’s delight at the AGF’s request adding that any further delay in enforcing the court verdict might weaken the Judiciary.
He said “We welcome your request for the full list of former governors and ministers. Any further delay in the enforcement of the judgment will continue to undermine the authority and integrity of the Nigerian judiciary. Nigerians cannot wait for you to take legal action to scrap states’ pension laws and fully recover the public funds collected.”
SERAP also said upholding the court’s Judgement will further give leverage to the government’s fight against corruption and also send a strong message to former governors and ministers who acted with impunity and wasted state’s resources.
“Immediate obedience to the judgment will be a victory for the rule, and provide an impetus for the government’s anti-corruption fight. It will also be a rare piece of good news for the people of Nigeria, as it will send a powerful message to former governors and ministers that have collected and/or collecting double pay that they will be held to account for their actions, and mark the end of this state-level impunity.” he said