10th N’Assembly: Disclose pensions paid to you as ex-govs, SERAP tells Akpabio, others
Socio-economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has urged Senate President Godswill Akpabio and 13 former governors in the 10th Senate to disclose the total amount of life pensions, if any, they have received from their states as former governors.
SERAP also urged them to clarify if they have collected or are currently collecting life pensions as former governors from their respective states. It asked them to stop and return the money to the treasury.
There are 14 former state governors in the 10th Senate. They are: Godswill Akpabio (Akwa Ibom); Adams Oshiomhole (Edo); Adamu Aliero (Kebbi); Dave Umahi (Ebonyi); Aminu Tambuwal (Sokoto) and Abubakar Sani Bello (Niger).
Others are: Ibrahim Danwkambo (Gombe); Danjuma Goje (Gombe); Abdulaziz Yari (Zamfara); Gbenga Daniel (Ogun); Aliyu Wammako (Sokoto); Orji Kalu (Abia); Ibrahim Gaidam (Yobe) and Seriake Dickson (Bayelsa).
In a letter, at the weekend, signed by SERAP’s deputy director, Kolawole Oluwadare, the organisation said: “Your constitutional oath of office under the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) requires you to publicly reject and return any pensions.
“Public function means activities in the public interest, not against it. The alleged collection by former governors of life pensions from their respective states amounts to private self-interest. It is also detrimental to public interest.”
SERAP noted that collecting life pensions as former governors, while in the Senate, would violate constitutional provisions and amount to taking advantage of entrusted public positions.
It said ending the practice would improve public confidence in the integrity and honesty of the National Assembly. It would show that the Senate could focus on serving public interest, rather than looking after itself.
SERAP further urged Akpabio and other senators to emulate former Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, who stopped collecting life pensions as a former governor of Kwara State, describing the money as ‘immoral’.
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