CSO drags Tinubu to court over Wike, Umahi, 6 other ministers
President Bola Tinubu has been sued over his failure to stop eight of his ministers, such as Nyesom Wike and David Umahi from collecting retirement benefits as governors.
The Civil Society Organisation, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) filed the lawsuit and joined five other ministers as defendants.
They are Badaru Abubakar, Bello Matawalle, Adegboyega Oyetola, Simon Lalong, Atiku Bagudu and Ibrahim Geidam.
In the suit number FHC/L/CS/1855/2023 filed last Friday at the Federal High Court in Lagos, SERAP is seeking: “an order of mandamus to direct and compel President Tinubu to instruct the former governors who are now serving as ministers to stop collecting life pension, and other ‘retirement benefits’ from their respective states.
SERAP is seeking: “an order of mandamus to direct and compel President Tinubu to instruct the former governors who are now serving as ministers to forthwith return any pensions and ‘retirement benefits’ collected by them since leaving office to the public treasury.”
SERAP is also seeking: “a declaration that the failure by President Tinubu to publicly instruct former governors who are now serving as ministers to stop collecting life pensions, exotic cars, and other ‘retirement benefits’ from their states while serving as ministers is a violation of his constitutional oath of office.”
In the suit, SERAP is arguing that: “Compelling and directing President Tinubu to stop the former governors from collecting any ‘retirement benefits’ while serving as ministers would serve the public interest, especially given the current grave economic realities in the country.”
SERAP is also arguing that, “The appointment of those who collect life pensions and other ‘retirement benefits’ as ministers is an arbitrary and unlawful exercise of discretion and presidential power of appointment.”
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According to SERAP, “While many pensioners are not paid their pensions, former governors serving as ministers get paid huge severance benefits upon leaving office, and are poised to enjoy double emoluments on top of the opulence of political office holders.”
SERAP is also arguing that, “The Tinubu government has constitutional and international legal obligations to stop the former governors from collecting any ‘retirement benefits while serving as ministers.”
The suit was filed on behalf of SERAP by its lawyers, Kolawole Oluwadare and Andrew Nwankwo.
No date has been fixed for the hearing of the suit.