By Henry Uche
The Human & Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA Resource Center) has condemned the recent court order given by National Industrial Court, sitting in Abuja, to the Taraba State government to pay pension arrears to its former governor, Jolly Nyame.
Just recently, the National Industrial Court of Nigeria in Abuja, ordered the Taraba State Government to pay Jolly Nyame (former governor of the State) his pension arrears along side other judgement creditors in the suits.
This move has attracted the more outrage by several Nigerian citizens and civil societies groups in addition to the unpardonable pardon granted to them by the president.
Mr. Nyame and three other judgement creditors – Uba Ahmadu, Abubakar Armayau and Bilkisu Danboyi – had filed a ‘garnishee proceeding’, which is a judicial process of enforcement of a monetary judgement by confiscation of assets belonging to the judgement debtor.
Recall that Nigeria president Muhammadu Buhari had in April granted a state pardon to Joshua Dariye (erstwhile governor of Plateau state) and Jolly Nyame who were indicted and jailed for corruption.
Dariye and Nyame were imprisoned for stealing public funds to the tune of N1.16billion and N1.6billion respectively.
Nyame and Dariye were governors of their respective states from 1999 to 2007.
Mr Nyame, who was governor of Taraba State from 1999 to 2007, was jailed for 14 years for fraud in May 2018 by an Abuja High Court.
HEDA boss Olarenwaju Suraju said, “This administration need to make themselves clear to me people. How can you be fighting corruption yet you are aiding more corruption by your actions?
“First, the Presidential pardon was unpardonable! Now the court is ordering the state to pay arrears to Nyame. This is Wickedness! The same person who was convicted for stealing the state blind,”
Suraju added that such actions from the court is capable of engendering more corrupt practices and other malfeasances.
“These are the kind of court decisions that breeds more corrupt practices with impunity. As fat as fighting corruption is concerned the judiciary is yet to live above board. Should we believe Ayi kwei Armah who says “The Beautiful Ones Are Not Yet Born”?
Suraju called on other civil society organizations to rise and condemn indefensible acts, decisions and policies of this nature, and charged the judiciary to be sensitive to citizen’s interest and not to politicians and ruling elites, saying “I’m afraid if Nigerians would ever trust the judiciary if they are not sensitive to citizen’s Interest, nor believe their political leaders at looking at what is happening,” he expressed grief.