Following the announcement made by the the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, that he has stopped receiving allowance from Kwara state as former governor, the state has confirmed the development.
Saraki had written to the Kwara state to stop paying him pension and also refunded the ones paid to him after the Socio-Economic and Accountability Project (SERAP) raised an alarm that the senate president and some former governors, who now hold political office, were receiving double pay.
The state government said it has received Saraki’s refunds and also seized to pay him pension. The statement was signed and released by Secretary to the Kwara state government, Isiaka Gold.
The statement reads:
“The attention of Kwara state government has been drawn to issues surrounding the payment of pensions to former governors of the state, especially the senate president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dr Abubakar Bukola Saraki, CON. As a result, the state government wish to make the following clarifications: That Dr Saraki, as a two-term governor, is entitled to pension as stipulated by the third schedule, Paragraph D (i) of the governor and deputy-governor (payment of pension) Law, No. 12 of 2010 of Kwara state.
“That the said pension has been duly remitted to his account, like other former governors’, since he left office but when via a letter dated 20th August 2015 addressed to the state government, Dr Saraki requested that the payment of pension to his account be stopped and the amount already credited to the account be refunded to the government, the state government promptly complied.
“That the government not only stopped the payment of the said pension, the amount already paid into Dr Saraki’s account since he left office was deducted from the money owed to him as well as his other outstanding lawful entitlements.
“In view of the foregoing, it should be noted that neither the Kwara state government nor Dr Bukola Saraki violated the state pension law or any other law for that matter. The state pension law empowers the state government to pay pension to former governors of the state.”
However, it was silent on whether the house it reportedly bought for the senate president had also been returned.