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SERAP Asks Court To Slash Allowances For Buhari, Govs, NASS Members

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SERAP Asks Court To Slash Allowances For Buhari, Govs, NASS Members
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SERAP Asks Court To Slash Allowances For Buhari, Govs, NASS Members

Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has asked the Federal High Court in Abuja “to order the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) and the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission (NSIWC) to perform their statutory functions to review downward the remuneration and allowances of President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, 36 governors and members of the National Assembly.”

SERAP is arguing that “slashing jumbo pay for these high-ranking political office-holders would reduce the unfair pay disparity between political officer holders and judicial officers, address the persistent poor treatment of judges, and improve access of victims of corruption to justice and effective remedies.”

In the suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/658/2021 filed last Friday, SERAP is seeking: “an order of mandamus to direct and compel the RMAFC to send its downward review of the remuneration and allowances of these high-ranking public office holders and recommendations to the National Assembly for appropriate remedial and legislative action, as provided for by the Nigerian Constitution 1999 [as amended].”

SERAP is also seeking “an order of mandamus to direct and compel the RMAFC to perform its mandatory constitutional duty to urgently review upward the remuneration, salaries and allowances, as well as the conditions of service for Nigerian judges.”

Joined in the suit as Respondents are Senate President, Ahmad Lawan; Speaker of House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, for themselves, and on behalf of all members of the Senate and House of Representative; and the National Judicial Council.

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SERAP is arguing that: “While high-ranking political office-holders continue to enjoy lavish allowances, including life pensions, and access to security votes, which they have powers to spend as they wish, the remuneration and allowances of judges are grossly insufficient to enable them to maintain themselves and their families in reasonable comfort.”

According to SERAP: “The huge pay disparity between these high-ranking political officer-holders and judges is unfair, unjust and discriminatory, especially given the roles of judges to the people and the country.”

SERAP Asks Court To Slash Allowances For Buhari, Govs, NASS Members

SERAP is also seeking “an order of mandamus to direct and compel NSIWC to perform its mandatory legal duty to urgently examine, streamline and recommend upward remuneration and allowances of Nigerian judges, and to recommend downward review of allowances of President Buhari, Vice-President Osinbajo, 36 governors and lawmakers to the National Assembly.”

The suit filed on behalf of SERAP by its lawyers Kolawole Oluwadare and Ms Adelanke Aremo, read in part: “the remuneration and allowances of judges have fallen substantially behind the average salaries and allowances of high-ranking political office-holders such as President, Vice-President, governors and lawmakers.”

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“While government reviewed upward the salaries and allowances of political office holders on four occasions between May 1999 and March 2011, the salaries and allowances of judicial officers were only reviewed twice during the same period.”

“The review of the remuneration, allowances, and conditions of service for political, public and judicial office holders carried out by the RMAFC in 2009 shows huge disparity between the remuneration and allowances of judges and those of high-ranking political office-holders.”

“The NSIWC in a letter to SERAP admitted that it has powers to examine, streamline and recommend the salary scales applicable to each post in the public service but informed us to redirect our request to the RMAFC.”

“There is a legal duty upon the RMAFC to urgently review downward the remuneration and allowances of high-ranking political office-holders.”

The rather unfair treatment of members of the judiciary – being one of the three coordinate branches of the government – is akin to contempt. It can be reasonably inferred that the judiciary are considered so unimportant by the political class, hence the refusal to pay them reasonable remuneration and allowances.”

“Judges should get all to which they are reasonably entitled, and it is unfair, illegal, unconstitutional, and discriminatory to continue to treat judges as second-class people while high-ranking political office-holders continue to enjoy lavish salaries and allowances.”

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“Despite their important roles and responsibilities, Nigerian judges are poorly treated, particularly when their remuneration, salaries, allowances, and conditions of service are compared with that of political office-holders. Judges should not have to endure the most poignant financial worries.”

“The increase in the cost of living and the injustice of inadequate salaries bears heavily on judges, as it undermines their ability to effectively perform their judicial functions.”

“The roles and functions performed by judges across the country are second to none in their importance, including in facilitating access of victims of corruption and human rights violations to justice and effective remedies.”

“As a safeguard of judicial independence, the budget of the judiciary ought to be prepared in collaboration with the judiciary having regard to the peculiar needs and requirements of judicial administration.”

“The remuneration and pensions of judges must be secured by law at an adequate level that is consistent with their status and is sufficient to safeguard against conflict of interest and corruption.”

“Nigerians would continue to bear the brunt of denied access to justice, a better judiciary and a better administration of justice until judges across the country are paid what they rightly deserve.”

No date has been fixed for the hearing of the suit.

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PUNCH News Headlines Trending In Politics, Today, 24th September, 2021

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PUNCH News Headlines Trending In Politics, Today, 24th September, 2021
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PUNCH News Headlines Trending In Politics, Today, 24th September, 2021 As Listed By Chrysora Media

Pensioners’ hardship worsens as states owe backlogs of gratuities

Pensioners’ hardship worsens as states owe backlogs of gratuities

Some pensioners during protest


State governments including Kano, Benue, Osun, Delta, Ekiti, Ondo, Ogun, Rivers and Kwara are currently owing pensioners many of whom are dying without receiving their entitlements.
Labour leaders and officials of the Nigerian Union of Pensioners, who spoke to The PUNCH in separate interviews on Thursday, said besides failing to remit the contributory pensions, retirees on the defined benefit scheme were being owed.
But state officials attributed the delay in paying pensions and gratuities to the poor economy of the country and assured that the entitlements would be paid as soon as their cash flow improved.
The defined benefit scheme is the pension scheme that was in effect before the adoption and payment of pensions to new retirees under the CPS as stipulated by the Pension Reform Act…..
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Akeredolu canvasses second term for Oyetola

Akeredolu canvasses second term for Oyetola

Oyetola


Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, on Thursday said by giving his Osun State counterpart, Adegboyega Oyetola, another four years in office, the state would gain more from him.
Akeredolu spoke on the sidelines of 30th anniversary of the creation of Osun, where 28 distinguished and prominent citizens of the state were honoured.
The Ondo State helmsman, who said achieving milestone of 30 year was worth celebrating, noted that “it has been a wonderful celebration having identified those who build, the founding fathers of this state and those who have contributed to the development of this state is now been given award, I think the government is doing very well…..
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Adamawa PDP councilors pass no confidence vote on LG chairman
Adamawa PDP councilors pass no confidence vote on LG chairman
Eight out of ten Peoples Democratic Party councilors in Demsa Local Government Council, on Thursday passed a vote of no confidence on the Chairman, Gibson Pwadadi.
The councilors accused Pwadadi of anti-party activities. They specifically accused him of divisiveness and loyalty to Senator Grace Bent, former PDP BOT member who defected to the All Progressive Congress.
Speaking on behalf of party stakeholders from the council, Samson Kumbita told reporters in Yola that the decision was sequel to a series of alleged infractions by the chairman…..
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PUNCH News Headlines Trending In Politics, Today, 24th September, 2021

2023: Jega, Utomi’s group to set conditions for APC, PDP on candidates

2023: Jega, Utomi’s group to set conditions for APC, PDP on candidates

Professors Pat Utomi and Attahiru Jega


The emerging third force in Nigeria’s political space is set to force political parties to adopt certain criteria in selecting candidates for various public offices in the 2023 general elections.
Several prominent Nigerians, including a former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Attahiru Jega, and a political economist, Professor Pat Utomi, have teamed up to sack the ruling All Progressives Congress and the biggest opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party, from the political space in the 2023 general elections.
They are to unveil a mega political movement to be known as ‘Rescue Nigeria Project’ on October 1…..
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National Assembly’s approval unnecessary for e-transmission of results – REC

National Assembly’s approval unnecessary for e-transmission of results – REC

Ogun State Residence Electoral Commissioner, Olusegun Agbaje


THE Ogun State Residence Electoral Commissioner, Olusegun Agbaje, has said the commission does not need the backing of the National Assembly and the approval of the National Communication Commission to transmit election results electronically.
Agbaje disagreed with the National Assembly’s position that the Independent National Electoral Commission had no constitutional backing to transmit election results electronically without the approval of NCC.
Agbaje said this on Thursday while speaking at a press briefing as the new REC in the state.
The National Assembly had insisted that the commission must seek the approval of NCC before transmitting election results electronically….
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Age Limits For The Presidential Aspirants Should Be…- Obi

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Age Limits For The Presidential Aspirants Should not Be…- Obi
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Age Limits For The Presidential Aspirants Should Be…- Obi

Vice Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the 2019 general election, Mr Peter Obi, has recommended a 60-80 years age range for aspirants vying for the office of president of the country.

The former Anambra State governor also said those vying for the office of governor should not exceed 60 years.

This was contained in a statement signed by his media aide, Valentine Obienyem, in Awka, on Thursday. He issued the statement to clarify what his principal said while campaigning for the Anambra PDP governorship candidate, Valentine Ozigbo.

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The statement read in part,” Obi, known for issue-based campaign in his speech at Aguata, Orumba North and South, and few other places, on Tuesday and Wednesday, pointed out numerous projects he did across the State, from roads through schools to security, and appealed to the people of these areas to vote for Mr Ozigbo for possessing the capacity and youthful age to deliver.

“He also said that whilst the other two contestants have had the opportunity to help their people and did nothing, that Ozigbo would be the clear difference.

“Obi said that the two out of three major contestants were over 60 years, while Mr Val Ozigbo is 50. He therefore concluded that Val possessed the ideal age for governorship at sub-national level, which he put between 40 and 60.”

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“Obi even went on to say that it was the experience garnered at that (governorship) level that would contribute to the success of leadership at the presidential level, which he put at between 60 and 80 years. “

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Buhari’s Sectionalism In Making Appointments Increasing Division – Ortom

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Buhari’s Sectionalism In Making Appointments Increasing Division - Ortom
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Buhari’s Sectionalism In Making Appointments Increasing Division – Ortom

Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State on Thursday accused the President, Major General Muhammad Buhari (retd.), of promoting nepotism and acts of sectionalism in all his appointments.

Ortom, who said such act violated the principle of federal character as enshrined in the constitution, added that the lopsided federal appointments and other acts of sectionalism had divided Nigeria more than ever.

The governor stated this in Enugu during a lecture organised by the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria, Enugu chapel, with the theme, ‘Emerging security situation in the South-East: the place of good governance” held in Enugu.

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He said, “The lopsided federal appointments, nepotism and other acts of sectionalism, particularly from 2015 to date, have divided Nigeria now more than at any other time in the country’s history.

“The Federal Character Principle as enshrined in the constitution has been abused and abandoned by the present administration. This is where leadership has failed Nigerians and good governance has also been relegated to the back seat.

Buhari’s Sectionalism In Making Appointments Increasing Division – Ortom

“Eastern Nigeria, like other parts of the country, deserves equal attention with the provision of critical infrastructure and development projects, as well as allocation of resources and key appointments at the federal level.”

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Ortom, who said he would never be cowed, maintained that the All Progressives Congress government had failed in every area.

He said the Federal Government was busy fighting perceived opposition while at the same time looking the other way amid mindless killing and maiming of Nigerians by herdsmen.

“The present administration at the centre has adopted the approach of intimidation of those who dare to voice out their frustrations and concerns over growing insecurity and marginalisation.

“But I, Samuel Ortom, will never keep quiet as long as injustice and marginalisation prevail in the affairs of our country,” he added.

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