Life Pension Bill: SERAP Tells Dickson to Reject Bill

  • SERAP set to sue Bayelsa Governor should he assent the Pension bill.
  • Says bill amounts to incorrect and improper performance of public functions

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has called on Bayelsa Governor, Seriake Dickson to reject the proposed life pension bill for lawmakers in the state.

iDONSABI reports that the bill which was proposed last week by the leader of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly, Peter Akpe. If assented to, the bill will grant life pensions to Speakers, Deputy Speakers and other members.

According to the details of the bill, Speakers will earn N500,000 monthly, while deputy speakers will receive N200,000. 24 other members will each get N100,000.

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The Human Rights Group in a letter by its Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare said should the governor go-ahead to assent the bill, it will institute legal proceedings to challenge the legality of the legislation and ensure full compliance with constitutional provisions and Nigeria’s international anti-corruption obligations, noting that public officials have a legal commitment to discharge a public duty truthfully and faithfully.

SERAP also pointed that the bill amounts to incorrect, improper performance of public functions and it’s clearly an abuse of legislative functions by the lawmakers.

“Rather than sponsoring bills that would improve access of children in Bayelsa to quality education, the lawmakers are taking advantage of their entrusted public positions to propose a bill to collect large severance benefits,” it added.

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Stating that the lawmakers are clearly the major beneficiaries under the proposed legislation, SERAP therefore, said the life pension bill has violated the constitutional and international prohibitions on conflicts of interest.

“The people of Bayelsa would expect you, as their governor, to use your entrusted public office to act in the public interest, including by rejecting the life pension bill and prevailing upon the House of Assembly to immediately drop the bill.”

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