- Pensioners have raised the court judgement that outlawed pension for political office holders
- According to the pensioners, the practice of paying pension to political holders cannot be justified in the context of the nation’s current social realities
- The Court of Appeal had recently declared that the practice was morally wrong
The Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP), has described as “laudable”, a recent Appeal Court judgement which overruled the payment of pension, gratuity and severance allowance to political office holders.
Bunmi Ogunkolade, Head, Information Unit of the union, who reacted to the judgement in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on Monday in Abuja, called for a refund of all monies already collected.
He opined that it was not morally right to pay an elected public officer or political appointee pension, gratuity or severance allowance for holding such an office for three to eight years.
According to him, this practice cannot be justified in the context of the nation’s current social realities.
NAN recalls that the Court of Appeal recently faulted the payment of either severance allowance, pension or gratuity to political office holders and political appointees, declaring that the practice was “morally wrong”.
A three-man panel of the court held that it was unjustifiable, in the face of the nation’s socio-economic reality, for some few politicians, who held office for not more than eight-years, to allocate huge public funds to themselves in the name of pension and severance packages.
The panel particularly wondered why the politicians should enjoy such packages while civil servants, who committed most of their active years to the service of the nation, were still denied their retirement benefits.
The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja had made the pronouncement while ruling on an appeal filed by the Governor of Kogi State and three others.
The court, in its lead judgment delivered by Justice Emmanuel Agim, declared that it was “wicked and morally wrong for political office holders and political appointees, who helped themselves to public funds while in office, to claim entitlement to pension and severance allowances”.
Justice Agim declared: “I must state here that the claim for payment of severance allowance by those whose tenure has come to an end, is as unfounded as is morally wrong.”
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Meanwhile, recall that Legit.ng had reported that the Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP) commended President Muhammadu Buhari for offsetting the more than 42-month pension arrears owed to its members nationwide.
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