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Group urges AGF to prosecute Saraki over pension collection

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Group urges AGF to prosecute Saraki over pension collection

• No breach of the law committed —Saraki’s aide

Success Nwogu, Ilorin

A group in Kwara State, Igbeayerere Kwara, has urged the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Mr. Abubakar Malami, to prosecute the President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki, for collecting pensions as a former governor of Kwara State while also receiving salaries, allowances and other perquisites as the senator representing Kwara Central Senatorial District and also as Senate
President.

The co-convener of Igbeayerere Kwara, Mr. Sambo Muritala had, during a media briefing in Ilorin, Kwara State on Sunday, said he had written to the AGF to prosecute Saraki.

Muritala, according to a copy of the letter to the AGF, whose receipt was acknowledged on Friday and the letter made available to journalists, said it was unlawful for Saraki to have received pensions and at the same time collected entitlements as a senator and later as Senate President.

The letter reads, “It is not in dispute that Dr. Bukola Saraki on August 1, 2017 while on News Agency of Nigeria’s studio stated that he has written a letter to the Kwara State Government to stop the payment of his pension and other benefits.

“His statement was eventually corroborated by the Secretary to the Kwara State Government that Dr. Bukola Saraki actually wrote to stop the payment and he also returned the previous payment and benefits accrued to him.

“Take notice that stoppage and refund of pension received by Dr. Bukola Saraki can never purge him of the already committed crime of taking pension and salary at the same time; rather, it strengthened the case against the prospective accused person and it is a strong evidence for prosecution.

“Coupled with Dr. Saraki’s confession and corroboration of Secretary to the Kwara State Government, I deem it necessary and proper to notify and direct your honour to prosecute the person of Dr. Bukola Saraki for the offense contrary to Section 7(2) and punishable under Section 99 of Pension Reform Act 2014 within seven days after
receiving this letter, otherwise, we shall seek court injunction compelling you to do so.”

However, one of Saraki’s spokespersons, Mr. Kayode Omotose, said Saraki did not commit any offense, adding that the payment of the pension was in compliance with a Kwara State Law duly passed by the state House of Assembly and assented to by the governor.

Omotose said, “It is another fairy tale inquisition that can not stand the test of scrutiny because there was a law to that effect duly passed by the state Assembly and assented to, as in every other state of Nigeria, which granted that privilege not only to governor
but also the deputy governor.

“No breach of the law was committed.”

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