Appeal Court Rules On Pension For Politicians

Appeal Court Rules On Pension For Politicians

Appeal Court Rules On Pension For Politicians

The Court of Appeal has invalidated the practice of granting pension, gratuity, or severance allowance to political office holders, asserting its moral wrongfulness. A three-member panel of the court expressed that allocating substantial public funds for such benefits to politicians, who typically serve for a maximum of eight years, is unjustifiable given the nation’s socio-economic circumstances. The judgment, delivered in response to an appeal by the Governor of Kogi State His. Excellency Yahaya Bello and three others, emphasized the disparity between the entitlements of political figures and the denial of retirement benefits to civil servants who dedicated most of their active years to national service.


Justice Emmanuel Agim, delivering the lead judgment, condemned the moral and wicked aspect of political office holders and appointees helping themselves to public funds while in office and subsequently claiming entitlement to pension and severance allowances. The court rejected the claimants’ request for severance allowance, emphasizing the absence of any legal basis or documentation supporting such payments as per their appointment letters. Justice Agim highlighted the common knowledge that elected public officials and political appointees receive substantial monthly salaries and allowances during their tenure, often accumulating significant wealth afterward.

The judgment underscored the stark contrast between these political figures, who amass wealth within a relatively short period, and career civil servants facing challenges in securing their pensions and gratuities upon retirement. The court criticized the prevailing contributory pension schemes for civil servants, wherein they contribute from their meager salaries paid in arrears while in service. Meanwhile, political appointees and elected officials, despite not working as long or as hard as career civil servants, swiftly receive substantial severance allowances upon leaving office, in addition to the wealth acquired during their tenure.

The court deemed it morally incorrect to provide elected public officers or political appointees with pension, gratuity, or severance allowance for a term ranging from three to eight years, considering the existing social realities. Such practices were deemed a form of gross social injustice, highlighting the need for a reevaluation of the compensation and benefits structure for political office holders in alignment with principles of fairness and equity.

Appeal Court Rules On Pension For Politicians

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