Ex-Presidents, Heads of State, VPs, Senate Presidents To Get Life Pay
ABUJA, Nov 03, (THEWILL) - It was a bumper financial harvest for former Military Heads of State, Generals Yakubu Gowon, Muhammadu Buhari, Ibrahim Babangida and Abdulsalami Abubakar, who would now join their civilian counterparts like Alhaji Shehu Shagari, Olusegun Obasanjo amongst others to receive full salaries for life. The development thus put to rest the associated controversies that trailed the consideration of the bill that also extended the largesse to the late Prime Minister Abubakar Tafawa Balewa and the spouses of deceased holders of such offices.
Also former Vice Presidents, Alex Ekwueme and Atiku Abubakar and ex-Senate Presidents, House of Representatives Speakers, Chief Justices of the Federation, Deputy Senate Presidents and Deputy Speakers of the House of Representatives will also get full benefits under the 1999 Constitution.
In the same vein members of the families of deceased former Presidents, Prime Ministers and Vice Presidents shall be entitled to annual payments as shall be recommended by the Revenue Mobilization, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) and approved by the National Assembly. The allowances shall be applied to the up-keep of the spouse and education of the children of the deceased of former Presidents, Vice President and Prime Minister up to the University graduate level or its equivalent.
These were the highpoints of the report of Conference Committee on the remuneration of for former Presidents, Heads of Federal Legislative Houses and Chief Justices Bill 2010, which was unanimously approved by the Senate on Wednesday.
However, the new law specifically provided that the deceased would cease to receive the remuneration upon the death of the last spouse of the office holder.
This was even as it shot out persons removed from any of the offices by the process of impeachment and also stated that; “any person who has held two or more public offices shall be entitled to only the benefit accruing under the bill to the highest of those offices which he has held in order of national precedence”.
The report was adopted without debate having gone through that process with concurrence by the House of Representatives.
It means now that former Senate President, Adolphus Wabara, Speakers Salisu Buhari, Patricial Etteh with her deputy, Babangida Nguroje who resigned their positions though under pressures from their colleagues would benefit from the arrangement.
It would however not be so for late Senate Presidents, Evan Enwerem and Chuba Okadigbo who lost their offices through impeachment.