Lagos, Others Defend Huge Pension For Ex Governors, Deputies

The Lagos State Government has justified the enactment of laws prescribing pension for former governors and deputy governors of the state.

The state government insisted that contrary to the contention of the plaintiffs who are challenging the law, through a suit before a Federal High Court in Abuja, the state House of Assembly had the powers to enact such law for former governors and their deputies in the absence of a federal legislation in that regards.

The plaintiffs’ suit, which is before Justice Ahmed Mohammed, was instituted against the 36 states’ governors, their Houses of Assembly, the Attorney-General of the Federation and the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission.

The plaintiffs are 36 non-governmental organisations including Human Development Initiatives and two activists, Ayodeji Kolawole and Tunde Asaju. They jointly filed the suit through their counsel, Chino Obiagwu, on July 15, 2014.

Apart from Lagos State, other state governments such as those of Sokoto, Cross River, Akwa Ibom and Kwara have also defended such laws. The various states, through their governors and Houses of Assembly, have filed counter-affidavits and notices of preliminary objection seeking the dismissal of the suit.

Mohammed fixed October 15 for hearing of the applications by some of the state governments.

In their joint counter-affidavit and notice of preliminary objection to the suit, Lagos State governor and the House of Assembly insisted that RMAFC, was not the only constitutional body empowered to stipulate the remuneration of public officers.

The counter-affidavit deposed to by a counsel in the office of Lagos State Attorney General, Justin Jacobs, also stated that the plaintiffs’ suit was misleading, adding that they failed to tender any document to show that the said pension law had been enacted, but the counter-affidavit did not also deny that the law had been enacted by the Lagos State House of Assembly.

It read in part that “In response to paragraph four of the affidavit in support, I state that the paragraph is not correct to the extent that it states that the 74th defendant, RMAFC, is the only constitutional body mandated to stipulate the remuneration of public office holders in Nigeria, including the 1st – 36th defendants,state governors,and their deputies.”

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