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SERAP takes Akpabio, others to court for allegedly collecting salaries, pensions

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The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has initiated legal proceedings against the Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, and nine other former governors from the 10th Senate who were reportedly receiving both salaries and pensions as senators.

The respondents in the lawsuit are: Abdulaziz Yari; Aminu Tambuwal; Adamu Aliero; Adams Oshiomole; Ibrahim Gaidam; Seriake Dickson; Ibrahim Dankwambo; Aliyu Wammako; Gbenga Daniel, and Dave Umahi.

In suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/1360/2023, which was filed at the Federal High Court in Abuja last Friday, SERAP is seeking a court order, specifically a “mandamus,” to compel Mr. Akpabio, the nine other senators, and Mr. Umahi to cease collecting both salaries and pensions and to refund any pensions they have received to their respective state treasuries.

SERAP is also requesting the court to mandate Mr. Akpabio, the nine other senators, and Mr. Umahi to clarify and disclose whether they have been or are currently receiving both salaries and pensions as former governors.

The organization’s argument is based on the Seventh Schedule to the Nigerian Constitution 1999 (as amended), which stipulates that former governors should discontinue collecting both salaries and pensions and return any pensions they have received.

SERAP asserts that unless these remedies are granted, the former governors will continue to benefit from life pension packages while also collecting salaries as serving public officers, which it considers an abuse of public resources for personal gain.

The lawsuit, filed by SERAP’s legal representatives, Kolawole Oluwadare and Ms. Valentina Adegoke, also references international conventions and domestic constitutional provisions to support its case. These include the UN Convention against Corruption, which mandates public officials to discharge their duties with integrity and responsibility. Additionally, the Nigerian Constitution’s Code of Conduct for Public Officers explicitly prohibits receiving emoluments from multiple public offices simultaneously.

According to reports, there are fourteen former governors in the Senate and as ministers who may be collecting substantial pensions from their respective states, including the mentioned individuals and others.

No hearing date has been set for the suit at this time.

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‘You’re responsible for Nigeria’s economic woes’— Atiku tackles Tinubu

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Atiku Abubakar, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate in the 2023 general election, attributed Nigeria’s economic challenges to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

In a statement shared on his official social media account on Sunday, the former Vice President of Nigeria urged Tinubu to take cues from Argentina’s President Javier Milei on swiftly restoring investor confidence despite inheriting a troubled economy.

Atiku criticized Tinubu for deflecting blame onto the opposition and his predecessors, calling such actions unnecessary and shortsighted. He emphasized that market dynamics respond to concrete actions, not political rhetoric.

Drawing parallels with President Milei’s leadership in Argentina, Atiku highlighted the need for well-sequenced economic reforms. He commended Milei’s proactive approach in preparing for the post-reform challenges and ensuring the availability of mitigating measures.

Atiku contrasted Tinubu’s administration’s ad hoc and hurried reforms with Milei’s strategic sequencing. He pointed out Argentina’s lean government structure achieved through reducing ministries and privatizing state-owned enterprises, contrasting it with Nigeria’s expanding bureaucracy and excessive spending on official residences.

Atiku likened Tinubu’s administration’s approach to Nero fiddling while Rome burns, accusing him of evading substantive action and blaming the opposition for policy failures, reminiscent of characters in George Orwell’s Animal Farm.

Expressing admiration for Argentina’s reforms, Atiku suggested aligning his “Recover Nigeria Plan” with Milei’s stabilization strategy to alleviate Nigeria’s economic distress. He emphasized the need for transparent policies focused on economic revival and warned against dismissing discontent, particularly among the youth, which could manifest in protests.

The statement referred to the worsening economic conditions in Nigeria, highlighted by soaring inflation rates and high living costs, as reported by the National Bureau of Statistics, with headline inflation reaching 29.90% and food inflation at 35.42% in January 2024.

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BREAKING: Fire guts FCT Minister’s residence

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A fire broke out at the private residence of Dr. Mariya Mahmoud, the Minister of State in the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), on Sunday afternoon.

Situated at No. 9, Justice Roseline Ukeji Close in the affluent Asokoro district of Abuja, the property was reportedly completely destroyed by the blaze.

Despite prompt emergency response efforts, including the arrival of fire service personnel, nothing could be salvaged from the premises.

Mr. Austin Elemue, the Minister’s Special Adviser on Media, confirmed the incident, indicating that the cause of the fire remained unknown at the time.

Authorities have initiated an investigation to ascertain the cause of the fire.

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PHOTO: Gov Makinde Host Nigeria Police Games

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1: Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde (left) and Inspector General of Police, Olukayode Egbetokun, during the opening ceremony of the 14th Biennial Nigeria Police Games, host by Oyo State Government, held at Adamasigba Stadium, Ibadan. PHOTO: Oyo Gov’s Media Unit.

2: From left, Deputy Governor of Oyo State, Barr Bayo Lawal; Governor Seyi Makinde; Inspector General of Police, Olukayode Egbetokun and his wife Elizabeth, during the opening ceremony of the 14th Biennial Nigeria Police Games, host by Oyo State Government, held at Adamasigba Stadium, Ibadan. PHOTO: Oyo Gov’s Media Unit.

3: Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde (left) take a salute from the Police Mascots, during the opening ceremony of the 14th Biennial Nigeria Police Games, host by Oyo State Government, held at Adamasigba Stadium, Ibadan. PHOTO: Oyo Gov’s Media Unit.

CREDIT: Oyo Gov Media 

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