Daily Trust (Abuja)

Nigeria: Lawyers Say Payment of N50 Million Pension to Ibori Illegal

They said in separate interviews in Lagos that Ibori, the convicted former governor of Delta, is serving a jail term in London, after he was convicted for money laundering charges.

Chairman of the Lagos Branch of the Nigerian Bar Association, Mr Taiwo Taiwo, said the payment of pension to an ex-convict was wrong and unconstitutional.

He said: "This to me is indeed an act of stupidity on the side of the Delta State Government.

"We have been turned to laughing stock in the face of the international community with the way and manner we handle our judiciary procedures in this country."

Another lawyer, Mrs Helen Ibeji, said that it was legally wrong to have paid pension to a man who was jailed for stealing and looting his state's treasury.

She said that the situation had shown a legal lacuna in the country, adding, "there is a comma in our legal system.

Also, Mr Clement Onwuenwunor, said that the payment of pension entitlements to Ibori by the Delta Government could only be justified, "if it passes through the legal procedure".

Onwuenwunor said, "It is immoral for the State Government to continue paying him pension when he is still serving a jail term for looting the treasury of his state.

The Delta State government had on Wednesday said the N50 million paid into the account of Ibori was his pension entitlements and other benefits.

The state Commissioner for Information, Mr Chike Ogeah, said in a statement, that the money was paid to the former governor for the furnishing of his house and pension.

NAN

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