Daily Trust (Abuja)

17 March 2010

Nigeria: RMAFC - No Pension for Acting Governors

The 1999 constitution did not make provision for anybody that acted as state governor to benefit from a lifetime pension that former governors and deputy governors are entitled to, the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) has said.

RMAFC Chairman Eng. Hamman Tukur told Daily Trust that the amended law by the Adamawa State House of Assembly to favour its current speaker, who served acted as governor for two months, is unconstitutional.

Adamawa State House of Assembly had last week included a clause in its amended law to offer a lifetime pension to its Speaker James Barka as a former acting governor of the state.

The 'Adamawa State Governor's Pension (Amendment) Law 2010' states that "Any person who through democratic process took oath and acted as a governor of the state is entitled to pension and such other benefits for life." "That law can't stand because it contradicts the constitution," Eng. Tukur said.

If the new law becomes operational, Barka, and acting governors by implication, would be entitled to free housing, free medical care, regular supply of vehicles, retinue of personal staff and protocol services, same with former governors and deputy governors.

Section 124(5) of the 1999 constitution stipulates that: "Provisions may be made by a Law of a House of Assembly for the grant of a pension or gratuity to or in respect of a person who had held office as Governor or Deputy Governor and was not removed from office as a result of impeachment; and any pension granted by virtue of any provisions made in pursuance of this subsection shall be a charge upon the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the State."

Barka acted as governor of Adamawa State in 2008 for two months within which a rerun election was held following the annulment of the governorship election in the state.

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