Lagos APC, the true face of corruption: Tinubu, Fashola, Ikuforiji and the dubious pension scheme

Posted by Ayodele Akele | 1 January 1970 | 7,416 times

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Lagos State Continues to Spend Billions (of Naira) on Tinubu, Fashola, Ikuforiji and Top APC Functionaries Every Year! Is This the Change We Want In Lagos?

Despite living a life of obscene opulence, all provided and paid for by Lagos State while in office, incumbent Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babatunde Fashola and Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Mr Adeyemi Ikuforiji, have ensured that they continue living in excessive luxury on the bills of Lagos tax payers, even after their tenure expired.

Already, immediate past governor of Lagos State, Bola Tinubu, has set the tone on how best to continue eating into the state’s resources and loot long after his tenure as governor ended. Today, Tinubu has used the cover of the criminal, dubious and unprecedented Lagos State Governors’ and Deputy Governors’ Pension Law of 2007 packaged by him before leaving office, to acquire the Lagos State Guest House in Abuja and several buildings in highbrow Ikoyi and Victoria Island, in fraudulent application of the so- called Lagos Governors’ Pension Law, which requires the state to provide residential houses (among other questionable largesse) for former governor and deputy in their areas of choice. Specifically, 4 Oyinkan Abayomi, built at a whopping sum of N2.4 billion, has been expropriated by the former governor, Bola Tinubu, even as the Lagos State House, annex in Abuja worth N1.2 billion has also been appropriated by Bola Tinubu in furtherance of this dubious pension law.

Interestingly, while Tinubu and company were quick to acquire and earn more than listed in this dubious legislation, pension payment for retired civil servants in the state still remains as miserable as N2,000.00 per month till today, after 35 years of meritorious service. More critical in the coming months would be the huge amount of money and resources the State would be allocating to incumbent Governor Babatunde Fashola and Speaker Adeyemi Ikuforiji and their deputies, under another proposed obnoxious pension law. Lagos State will be expending billions (of naira) annually on these elements. It is really like continuously sucking the state dry after leaving office. What the sum of these billions can do for Lagosians in education, health, water and creating employment opportunities is better imagined!

This should be a source of serious concern for all. Only recently, the Speaker, Adeyemi Ikuforiji, exploited his influence among his colleagues in the Lagos House of Assembly to push through this nefarious bill to amend a subsisting equally questionable law, which provides for the payment of pensions and other benefits to political office holders in Lagos State for life. Lagosians must know this: The obnoxious law, in its original form, as provided for former governors and deputy governors, is a criminal and scandalous legacy in the greedy expropriation of the scarce resources of Lagos State. Specifically, this unprecedented and, indeed, most lucrative pension in the world under ‘progressive’ All Progressives Congress (APC), Lagos State, provide for payment of pensions and other fringe benefits to former Lagos State governors and deputy governors. This requires the provision of stupendous money and other benefits that ensure a perpetual, though undeserved life of luxury, for former governors and deputy governors on the bills and resources of Lagos State, sadly in (the) midst of abject poverty among Lagosians. Lagosians must, therefore, ‘shine’ their eyes and see the highlight of what a former governor and deputy governor are scheduled to earn for life after just 8 years of service of treasury looting:

Former governor is entitled to six new cars every three years and a house in Lagos and another in Abuja. A house in Lagos will cost N500 million and Abuja N700 million. The former governor and family (spouse and children – both married and unmarried) are entitled to free medical, not capped. The ex-governor is entitled to a cook, steward, gardener and other domestic staff.

Others include:
1. 100 per cent Annual Basic Salary of the incumbent governor and same for the deputy governor. This is to be reviewed every five years, where there is salary review of political office holders by the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC)
2. Both the former governor and his deputy get 300 per cent of their annual basic salary as Furniture Allowance
3. The two also get 30 per cent of their annual basic salary for Car Maintenance
4. They collect 10 per cent of their annual basic salary for House Maintenance
5. Another 10 per cent of their annual basic salary for Entertainment
6. Twenty per cent of their annual basic salary is for Utility, while personal assistants appointed by them are to collect 25 per cent of their respective annual basic salary.

The above outline is in addition to one residential house for the former governor and deputy governor at any location of their choice in Lagos State; and one residential house in the Federal Capital Territory for the former governor. Further to be provided for the former governor are three cars: one pilot car and two backup cars. The cars are to be replaced every three years. Meanwhile, his deputy’s fleet is provided with two cars plus one pilot car and one backup car. Added to these is a full complement of domestic staff, all of them scheduled to draw life pension from the state’s coffer.

The Public Office Holders Pension Law or Political Office holders, whatever it is called, lacks moral, ethical and good governance justification. We can’t yet fathom why an erstwhile political office holder who presented himself for public office on the assumed inspiration of serving the people would now design a life-after-office that directly competes with his time in office. Do we then assume that life after office for the governor and his deputy is a substantive office of state? So, what then would be the situation in another 50 years, going forward, calculating on assumption of subsequent governors spending two terms in office? Translated, Lagos State would be burdened with the task of providing for eight former governors and about 16 former deputies. Where, as obtained now, a deputy only gets to serve one term in office, the cost to the state purse won’t be less than 30 per cent total value of state’s expenditure: Just on a few citizens of the state with questionable performance in office. Generations yet unborn will not forgive this!

Lagosians must wake up. The ‘progressive’ APC Change is moving towards giving its top functionaries the same luxurious out-of-service lifestyles of former governors and their deputies are enjoying at the expense of the masses. In particular, Mr. Adeyemi Ikuforiji and his deputy are to earn the same 100 per cent basic salary plus 100 per cent of their annual basic salary as Furniture Allowance; 20 per cent for Utility; 25 per cent for the Personal Assistants of their choice, 10 per cent as Entertainment Allowance, and another 10 per cent for Car Maintenance and House Maintenance. The state is also to provide a Residential House each for the speaker and his deputy at any location of their choice with a car each complemented with a pensionable driver. We specially frown at the ‘progressive’ Lagos APC Speaker’s belligerence, as he moves to secure this iniquitous pension for himself.

Ever since Adeyemi Ikuforji became Speaker of the State House of Assembly some seven years ago, he has consistently been housed at tax payers’ expense. For each term of his speakership, he is allocated a residential building, which he greedily converts to his use after the expiration of each term. The current term is his third as Speaker of the Lagos House of Assembly, and so he has three houses allocated to him for free by the state over the years.  Isn’t it curious that despite all these criminal acquisitions, this speaker is still desperate to continue the abuse, living on the resources of the people of Lagos State in perpetuity and shamelessly? The status report from the speaker’s desperate bid to amend the payment of pension law shows that it has passed the first reading, suggesting it would have passed easily through the legislative process. We call this legislative stealing and demand the outright scrapping of this dubious law on the ground that it is elitist, because it merely serves to sustain the life of opulence of affected former officers of state without concomitant contributions to the development of the state by these former officials and liabilities.

Is this the meaning of PUBLIC SERVICE in the dictionary of ‘progressive’ Lagos APC? Lagosians, this is an opportunity to arrest this executive/ legislative stealing and lawlessness. Lagosians still groan under the intensity of highly prohibitive taxes, and this is how Lagos is ‘working.’ We will continue to question this profane use of executive and legislative powers to corner the resources of the state only to advance and sustain an ostentatious lifestyle. The notion of earning such humongous sum plus other material benefits out of office, in the midst of the huge crowd of poverty stricken Lagosians that wake up each day without any assurance of where the next meal will come from, is at the least, immoral, insensitive and callous! Yet ‘progressive’ Lagos is working! Fashola is working!!

There is just no rationale for such provisions to be made for political office holders out of service. Let all political office holders be put on notice: We will mobilise Nigerians to resist this official affliction of the people by a few privileged ones. We know, for certain, that the reward for impressive service delivery by a political office holder is the generation of invaluable goodwill; that unquantifiable, intangible currency that can buy so much in exchange of the appreciation and gratitude of a people well served. This is the essence of service to the people of Lagos State. Is this the ‘change’ that they talk about or a sacrilegious irony for protagonists of ‘change’ being caught in a scorching irony of hypocrisy and brazen looting of Lagos treasury? To us, these ‘progressive’ APC change agents need thorough examination, especially at a time like this, when they have rented the airwaves, and many are being led gullibly to believe that they have the magic (wand) to solve all of Nigeria’s problems as they chant the ‘change’ slogan.

Outrageous, Mind-Boggling Looting of Lagos State By Bola Tinubu and Cronies
Since the advertorial published in THISDAY of February 10, 2015 titled ‘Brazen Looting of Lagos Treasury, 1999-2015,’ which chronicled Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s massive wealth, monumental corruption, looting and gross abuse of office (extracts attached), nobody can claim alibi - not members of the civil society organisations (CSOs), human rights community or any anti-corruption crusader worth its salt in Nigeria and abroad, not even EFCC  or ICPC - about acts of corruption and fraud being perpetrated by Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the former Governor Lagos State and his cronies: The so-called  proponent of ‘change.’ We commend this advertorial to whoever may not yet be aware of this stack revelation or the gravity of allegations levelled, for which any sane person continue to wonder whether it is really true that Bola Ahmed Tinubu owns all the property listed in the advertorial defrauding the state.

Again, these allegations have been made into a documentary and currently being aired on Africa Independent Television (AIT), without a rebuttal from Tinubu or his spokesperson, safe for subtle threat of legal action. Unbelievably, upon the publication of the advertorial under reference and the documentary, neither has there been any reaction from Fashola, who has carried on as if he owes nobody any explanation on how he has managed public resources entrusted in his care. Sad indeed! This is the way Lagos is working!! Fashola is working indeed!!!

Our Position
We cannot be indifferent to these weighty allegations to the extent that calling for a 10 million-man-match now, to bring Tinubu and his cronies to book, is not out of place, as against the orchestrated rented fake 1million man match to divert attention. Our self-appointed custodians of morality in the society, especially the so-called human rights community should not maintain deafening silence as if nothing is cooking. At this critical moment, human rights organisations and CSOs committed to transparency and anti-corruption should not lose their voices, claim alibi or ignorance over this publication or documentary.

In the circumstance, we demand immediate arrest and prosecution of Chief Looter, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, for offences bothering on looting, gross abuse of office, stealing and misappropriation of public funds and properties, all amounting to betrayal and committing economic and financial crimes against Lagos State.

All looted funds and public properties must be recovered from him; and he should be punished with long term imprisonment to serve as a deterrent. In view of immunities being enjoyed by his close accomplice or partner in the crime, Babatunde Fashola, his international passport should be seized to prevent him from running away from justice. He should be arrested immediately for trial, immediately after the expiration of his tenure as the governor of Lagos State

Appeal to Lagosians
Definitely ‘progressive’ APC is not really the face of ‘change’ Lagosians desire, but just a face of corruption and looting. The coming election (April 11) provides the greatest opportunity for REAL CHANGE in Lagos State. The National Conscience Party (NCP), government in Lagos State (if elected), as the real change agent, shall repeal this bogus governors’ pension and all other anti-people laws, if voted into power. Vote NCP to put paid to this continuous rape and stealing of the state resources. Vote NCP to end public looting and corruption. For good governance and selfless service, NCP is the answer. For governor of Lagos State, vote for NCP!! Akele is the answer!!!

Being text of a speech delivered at a recent Press Conference at the Lagos State Secretariat of the National Conscience Party (NCP) by Comrade Ayodele Akele, Lagos State governorship candidate. Photo shows Comrade Akele.

Extracts from THISDAY Advertorial and AIT Documentary on Some of What Tinubu/Fashola Are Accussed of Appropriating

“The largest landlord in Lagos has done as he pleased, and the rest of the state just has to deal with it. To start with, 4, Oyinkan Abayomi (formerly Queens) Drive, Ikoyi: A 5-bedroom detached house on one acre of land which was originally the Lagos State governor’s guest house since 1979, now belongs to Tinubu. The certificate of occupancy of the property valued at N450 million was signed and released to him by Fashola in 2007 shortly after he resumed office.

“Tinubu’s residence at No 26 Bourdillon Road, Ikoyi was initially falsely presented as an Oando Plc guest house. Later, he purportedly bought it from Oando, and used public funds to rebuild and renovate it. The Lagos State Government bought the property and paid an undisclosed sum to him and thereafter gave the property back to him under the bogus Pension Act he signed into law shortly before he left office in 2007. The property is worth over N600 million.

“The annex of the Lagos State Guest House in Asokoro, Abuja was bought by the state government in 2006 for N450 million, purportedly to protect the main house from a security breach. Shortly after Tinubu left office, the property was transferred to him under the pension plan he signed into law before leaving office.

“The 250-hectare land valued at about N35billion and strategically located at the Ajah junction on Lekki road was initially meant for a general hospital for the people of Eti-Osa Local Government but was allegedly acquired by Tinubu and handed over to Trojan Estate Ltd – a company owned by Deji and Wale Tinubu – to develop as Royal Garden Housing estate at the expense of the taxpayers of Lagos.

“The 1,000 hectares of land valued at about N75billion located at Lakowe near Abijo at Ibeju-Lekki Local Government Area and given to Lekki Concession Company (LCC) which is allegedly partly-owned by Tinubu and Fashola and is being developed as a golf course and housing estate by Assets and Resource Management Ltd (ARM) as ADIVA project.

“The prime land of 157 hectares with 2.5km of Atlantic beachfront valued at about N10 billion and purportedly stolen by Tinubu from the communities of Siriwon, Igbekodo, Apakin, etc., in Ibeju-Lekki Local Government Area and given to Ibukun Fakeye, his alleged crony, to build a golf course and luxury villa with little or no compensation to the villagers. In addition, Tinubu was alleged to have to paid $20million (N3 billion) out of the public treasury to Ibukun Fakeye to commence the project in late 2006. Fashola has since released additional funding for this project, which is not owned by the state government.

“The 14-hectare Parkview Ikoyi estate foreshore land reclaimed by Lagos state government is now purportedly owned by Tinubu. While in office, he purportedly allocated to himself the former Strabag yard beside the Lagos State secretariat at Alausa, Ikeja. The property has now been developed into a shopping mall as big as the Palms in Lekki. This is a public property brazenly stolen and now allegedly owned by Tinubu, aided by Fashola.

“The choice property at Lekki-Epe road on which he built and owns the multi-billion naira Oriental Hotel and the extension of multi-level recreation centre by Mobil in Oniru Estate on Lekki-Epe road jointly owned with ARM and Tunji Olowolafe. All these assets valued at over N25 billion were allegedly obtained without paying a kobo to the Lagos State Government.

Tinubu raised a loan of N4.7billion on Eko Akete project for which nothing was achieved before he turned around to sell the property to his Chagouri friends of Chagouri & Chagouri and Hitech Construction Ltd at a ridiculously low price at the expense of the taxpayers of Lagos. Tinubu applied to personally purchase the federal secretariat building while in office. When he couldn’t get to buy it, he directed Fashola to stop the eventual owner of the complex from developing it. The complex is presently wasting away, courtesy of the Lagos State Government.

“It took several months of horse trading and underhand payments before Fashola could allow the new owners of 1004 flats to redevelop the complex (Wole Babalakin). Several other buyers of federal government properties and developers of properties in Ikoyi, Victoria Island and Government Reservation Area, Ikeja were forced to succumb to the outrageous demands of Tinubu, Fashola, Commissioner Abosede and other officials.

The Critical Care Unit of Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) in Ikeja, built and equipped with state funds, is now owned personally by Tinubu. He has put Dr. Sikiru Tinubu, (a supposed cousin of his) to run the outfit. It is run as a private unit and proceeds are pocketed by the duo…”

Source: News Express

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