N40bn: Court Affirms SERAP’s Right To Stop Double Pay For Saraki, Others

The Federal High Court in Lagos has ruled that Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has sufficient interest to bring its suit to stop former governors and now serving senators and ministers from receiving double pay and life pensions, and to seek recovery of over N40bn of public funds unduly received by these public officers. Justice Oluremi Oguntoyinbo stated this last Friday while granting leave in the suit number FHC/L/CS/1497/17 filed last year by SERAP to compel the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Mr. Abubakar Malami, SAN to “challenge the legality of states’ laws that allow former governors who are now senators and ministers to enjoy governors’ emoluments while drawing normal salaries and allowances in their new political offices and to identify those involved and seek full recovery of public funds from them.”

In a considered ruling granting leave to apply for Judicial Relief, Justice Oguntoyinbo held that, “SERAP cannot be considered a meddlesome interloper or busybody in seeking to stop double pay and life pensions for former governors”, emphasising that all that mattered was for SERAP to show “sufficient interest in the application for leave to apply for an order of mandamus.”

Extensively reviewing and relying on Order 34, Rules 1(1) a, 2, Rule 3 (1) and (2) of the Federal High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules 2009, and quoting from several Supreme Court Judgments, Justice Oguntoyinbo insisted that, “the court shall not grant leave in mandamus application unless it considers that the applicant has sufficient interest in the matter to which the application relates.”

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Author: see naija

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