The Kwara State Government says it has stopped payment of pensions to former governor and Senate President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dr Abubakar Bukola Saraki.
The state government in a statement signed by the Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Isiaka Gold, said the stoppage follows a letter from the Senate President, requesting that the payment of pension to his account be stopped.
The state government also said the amount already credited to the account of the two-term Governor since he left office has been deducted from the money owed to him as well as his other outstanding lawful entitlements.
While noting that the payment was in line with the state pension law, the statement said neither the Kwara State Government nor Dr. Bukola Saraki violated the law. It therefore hopes that the Kwara clarification will end all controversy about the issue.
The SSG did not state how much was returned to government coffers, but said a letter dated Aug 20, 2015 by the Senate President also directed that money credited to his account for pension be refunded to the government.
According to him, Saraki is entitled to the money he returned as provided in the third schedule, Paragraph D (i) of the Governor and Deputy Governor ((payment of pension) Law, No. 12 of 2010 of Kwara State.
He said that apart from Saraki, other former governors and their deputies were entitled to pension as provided by the law.
“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,” Gold stressed.
The SSG said the Senate President should be commended for his decision to abandon his legal entitlements.
“It is the hope of the state government that this clarification will end all the controversy about this issue,” he added.