The Lagos State House of Assembly says it will not repeal the state’s pension law permitting former governors and other public office holders to receive juicy pensions from state coffers.
In an interview with newsmen on Sunday, Tunde Braimoh, Chairman, House Committee on Information and Strategy, said Lagos Assembly will not go the way of the Zamfara Assembly which recently repealed pension law for its former governors.
Recall that a Federal High Court in Lagos had ordered the federal government to recover pensions collected by former governors now serving as ministers and members of the national assembly.
The court also directed Abubakar Malami, Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), to challenge the legality of states’ pension laws permitting former governors and other ex-public officials to receive such pensions.
Braimoh, however, faulted the court ruling that ordered Malami to take immediate legal action towards the abolishment of state laws that permit “former governors to enjoy governors’ emoluments while drawing normal salaries and allowances in their new political offices.”
He told newsmen that as long as the law did not contravene the constitution, state assemblies had the right to make laws for the benefit of the society in which they operate.
The lawmaker said separation of powers as enshrined in the constitution empowers the legislature to make laws, the executive to implement and the judiciary to interpret the laws.
“The Supreme Court had made it clear several times that no arm of government can repeal the constitutional provisions of another arm of government,” he said.
“Therefore, legislators make laws that are in tune with the yearnings and dynamics of their society.
“Until another legislature comes to alter, review or amend the law, the law is meant to be obeyed.
“The judiciary cannot pronounce that a law by the state is unconstitutional unless such state law is contradictory to the constitution.”
Braimoh said he was not aware of any law that restricted state assemblies from making laws for the provision of welfare package of former governors and public office holders.