Attention Turns To Akpabio, Others As Senator Dankwambo Rejects Ex-Governor Pension Entitlements

Attention Turns To Akpabio, Others As Senator Dankwambo Rejects Ex-Governor Pension Entitlements

7 months ago
2 mins read

The Senator representing Gombe North, Dr Ibrahim Dankwambo, has asked the state governor, Muhammadu Yahaya, to suspend the payment of the monthly pension and allowance of N694,557.82 accruing to him as a former governor.

According to a letter dated 4th of October, 2023, and addressed to Yahaya, Dankwambo requested a suspension of his pension and allowance on the basis of his new job as a senator.

This development comes at a time the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) sought a court order that will compel Senate President Godswill Akpabio, nine other senators and Minister Dave Umahi to stop collecting both salaries and pensions and to return any pensions collected to their respective state treasuries.

The rights group insisted that: “Collecting pensions as former governors and salaries while serving as public officers is a flagrant violation of the letter and spirit of the Nigerian Constitution and the public trust,” and quoted Paragraph 2 (a) of the Code of Conduct for Public Officers in the Fifth Schedule, Part 1 of the Nigerian Constitution which partly provides that: ‘a public officer shall not receive or be paid the emoluments of any public office at the same time as he receives or is paid the emoluments of any other public office.’

SERAP, in the statement issued by its deputy director, Kolawole Oluwadare, further said: “The states currently implementing life pensions for former governors reportedly include Akwa-Ibom, Abia, Edo, Niger, Kebbi, Kano, Ogun, Sokoto, Jigawa, Cross River, Ebonyi, Enugu, Benue, Gombe, Yobe, Taraba, Kaduna, Plateau, Katsina, Rivers, and Delta.”

This translates at the time to Senators Godswill Akpabio (Akwa-Ibom State); Adams Oshiomhole (Edo State); Adamu Aliero (Kebbi State); Dave Umahi (Ebonyi State); Aminu Tambuwal (Sokoto State); Abubakar Sani Bello (Niger State);?Ibrahim Danwkambo (Gombe State); Danjuma Goje (Gombe State); Abdulaziz Yari (Zamfara State); Gbenga Daniel (Ogun State); Aliyu Wammako (Sokoto State); Orji Kalu (Abia State); Ibrahim Gaidam (Yobe State); Seriake Dickson (Bayelsa State).

In Akwa Ibom State, where Akpabio is the former governor, the Life Pension law [as amended] entitles a former governor to an annual pay of N200 million, two official vehicles with chauffeurs, furniture allowance of 300 per cent of basic salary replaceable every four years, an aide, a cook, and lifetime security guards worth N5 million monthly, and N2.5 million for their deputies.

“There is also state-sponsored annual medical service of about N100 million for ex-governors and their spouses and N50 million for the ex-deputy governors, five-bedroom mansions in Abuja and Akwa Ibom.

“Other benefits include 300% annual basic salary as ‘severance gratuity, 300% of the annual basic salary for ‘car maintenance’; 100% of the annual basic salary for ‘entertainment’; and 100% of the annual basic salary for ‘utility’,” the rights group said in the statement.

Dankwambo explained that his decision to stop collecting the pension and allowance of a former Gombe State Governor was reached after due consultations with relevant stakeholders including Civil Society Organisations, adding that it was sequel to his letter to Yahaya on issues relating to security allowance to Governors.

“Further to my letter to His Excellency dated  September 28, 2023, on issues relating to security allowance to governors as per approval dated 20/09/2002, yours of 14/06/2019 and Executive Pension Act of 2007 (as amended) and other matters relating therein.

“I have interacted with Civil Society Organisations, integrity institutions, friends and associates on the above and decided to put them on hold and make a refund as appropriate.

“I therefore write to request for the suspension of my monthly pension/allowance of #694,557.82 only being paid to me as former Governor of Gombe State,” the letter read in part.

Dankwambo pointed out that since the termination of his tenure as Governor, he has never benefitted from perks accrued to former governors, adding that, “since I left office in 2019, I have never benefitted from any welfare packages, be it medical, furniture, transportation, etc.”


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