The recent judgement delivered by Justice Oluremi Ogutoyinbo of the Federal High Court, Lagos, at the instance of SERAP, an NGO, and which follows an earlier one by the Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja, coran Justice Agim and two other Justices is a welcome relief and the way to go.Nit only did the bold and courageous Judge declare such expropriation laws as unconstitutional.
She also ordered that such past office holders should regurgitate the ill-gotten wealth derived from such illicit and mindless allocations.These politicians are daily fleesing us,stealing us black and blue of our commonwealth and collective patrimony.They behave as if they are God's gift to mankind.
These humongous and heartless severance allowances, pensions, gratuities, perquisites, salaries,etc, some running into billions of naira, of political office holders and appointees are morally wrong, scandalous and mind boggling.
These politicians even extend this criminal extortion and legalised unarmed robbery and grand larceny to their wives, children, body guards, house boys/maids, gardeners, cleaners, drivers,etc.Th State must provide them with two houses in Lagos and Abuja,purchase about 6 brand new cars and generators for them and still maintain these facilities for as long as they live. Gosh!!!
This is the reason politicians maim, kill and burn others to death, to attain power. It is not about service. No, not about patriotism or altruism.These are the same people who recycle themselves as Senators, Ministers and Ambassadors, after leaving office as governors for 4 or 8 years. Some serve as Governors, then ministers and back to office again as governors. Like the barber's chair, there is mere oscillation, but without progress.
It is simply immoral, unethical and the height of lunacy,thievery and day light robbery of our common treasuries, for these politicians to allocate to themselves these unearned sums,while the real career Civil Servants who toiled all their lives in service of their fatherland die on long queues,waiting to collect their pittance of pensions.
Only last week,Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara State signed into law, the repealment of the old Zamfara State Law that prescribed and condoned this social injustice. The fresh judgement will sanitize the heavily fouled and putrid political environment.
It has opened up new vistas and rejigged the weak moral fabric with which politicians' garments of public service is sewn. Surely, the labour of our heroes should not be allowed to be in vain. All States Houses of Assemblies should immediately repeal this set of obnoxious laws as the Zamfara State House of Assembly in collaboration with Governor Matawalle has just done.
Ozekhome is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN).