A group of legal practitioners from Edo State under the aegis of Bini Lawyers Forum, has attacked the Edo State House of Assembly for approving N300million retirement homes for the immediate past governor of the state, Adams Oshiomhole, and his deputy, Dr. Pius Odubu.
The House had in an amendment it effected on a bill for a law relating to Pension Rights of the Governor and Deputy Governor, approved the provision of residential buildings worth N200m and N100m for former governors of the state and their deputies.
The bill also provided that the buildings could be sited in any location of their choice.
However, the Bini Lawyers Forum, in a statement it issued in Abuja on Friday, maintained that the decision of the Edo legislative House was “repugnant to wisdom, common sense and good conscience”.
The group said it was “mischievous” that the House made such approval in a state where Civil Servants and Retirees, after 35 years in service, are unable to save to build a decent accommodation due to meagre salary and irregular payment of pension.
The statement which was signed by President of the association, Mr. Cliff Osazee Otasowie, read: “The attention of the Forum has been drawn to the recent decision of the Edo State House of Assembly to approve the sum of N200,000,000.00 and N100,000,000.00 for the residential building of the former Governor and Deputy Governor respectively.
“The Forum condemns in its entirety this insensitive, inconsiderate, reckless, mischievous, malafides, illogical and senseless approval by the Edo State House of Assembly.
“The decision of the House of Assembly is repugnant to wisdom, common sense and good conscience as same can not be subjected to any interrogation.
“It is sad to note that in a State where there is no deliberate government policy to take care of it’s Retirees after 35 years In the Civil Service by the provision of decent accommodation either through mortgage or mass Housing program such a State would approve hundreds of millions for residential building for one man (former Governor) who served the State for maximum period of 8years.
“We cannot comprehend the rationale for this abnormality, inequality and a clear abuse of legislative powers.
“It is heartrending to note that in a State where Civil Servants and Retirees State after 35 years in service are unable to save to build a decent accommodation due to meagre salary and irregular payment of pension, a State House of Assembly would approve life pension for one man(former Governor) who served the State for a period of 8 years at a rate equivalent to 100 percent of his last annual salary in addition to an officer not above salary grade level 12 as Special Assistant, Personal Secretary not below Grade Level 10 who shall be selected from the Public Service of Edo State.
“The Law provides for two (2) armed Policemen, three (3) Vehicles to be bought by the State Government and to be replaced every five years, three Drivers who shall be selected by the former Governor and paid by the State Government as well ad free Medical treatment for the Governor and his immediate family.
“We submit that the law that prioritizes the well being of one man over the well being of the generality of the populace can best be described as inhuman, insensitive, obnoxious and ignoble.
“The Edo State House of Assembly which ought to be the bastion of hope for the people has demonstrated by this action its willingness to expend the people on the fraternity that exist between it and the Executive arm of Government.
“This fraternity that promotes personal interest above general interest could be equated to class apartheid i.e discrimination of the poor by the rich/elite.
“In the light of the above and having breached the social contract with the people, we hereby pass a vote of no confidence on the members of Edo State House of Assembly. We hereby demand as follows:
“1. The immediate repeal of the Pension Right of the Governor and Deputy Governor Law.
“2. The immediate resignation of all members of Edo State House of Assembly for this betrayal of trust, confidence and mandate of the people.
“The actions of the members have clearly shown that they are all devotees in the temple of profligacy, recklessness and injustice; accordingly unfit to occupy the office”.