For non-payment of his outstanding emoluments and monthly arrears, the immediate past Deputy Governor of Ondo State, Alhaji Lasisi Oluboyo has dragged the State Government to Court.
Through his counsel, Olu Ogidan, the former Deputy Governor prayed the court to mandate the government to pay his gratuities and pension running into millions of Naira.
Earlier the state’s Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice had affirmed in a letter that Oluboyo was entitled to his gratuity.
However, he did not make reference to his monthly pension as passed into law by the State House of Assembly.
Oluboyo who is from Ikare-Akoko replaced Alhaji Ali Olanusi from the neighboring Supare-Akoko after his impeachment by the State Assembly, faulting the content of the letter which only recognized the two-year period he served as the deputy governor.
He insisted that he is entitled to all benefits attached to his former office as Deputy Governor as stipulated in the laws of the state.
The letter is entitled “Re: Request for payment of arrears of monthly allowance of Alhaji Lasisi Oluboyo” and addressed to the Acting Permanent Secretary, Political and Economic Affairs Department, Governor’s Office.
It states that “I am directed to advise you that His Excellency, Alhaji Lasisi Oluboyo is entitled to his emoluments and monthly arrears yet unpaid covering the period for which he was in office between 27th April, 2015 and 24th February, 2017.”
A suit no AK/75/2019 filed in the High Court of Justice, Ondo State has the Governor, Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice as well as the Ondo State Pensions Board as defendants.
Oluboyo, the claimant, asked for the payment of what is lawfully due to him as former deputy governor of the state.
He sought for “A declaration that the Claimant having assumed the office of the Deputy Governor of Ondo State and having served meritoriously in that capacity is entitled to the payment of arrears of his pension, allowances, benefits and all other entitlements due and payable to him as former Deputy Governor of Ondo State.
“A declaration that the letter dated 12th February, 2019 written by the
Solicitor-General and Permanent Secretary, Ministry if Justice to the Acting Permanent Secretary, Political and Economic Affairs Department, limiting the payment of the monthly allowances and entitlement of the Claimant to the period within which he was in office as Deputy Governor of Ondo State, between 27th April, 2015 and 24th February 2017, is null and void having contravened the provision of the Law to provide for Pensions to the Governor and Deputy Governor of Ondo State and for other Ancillary matters, 2004.
“A declaration that the Claimant is entitled to the payment of his pension, allowances benefits and all other entitlements for life having served as Deputy Governor of Ondo State between 27th April, 2015 and 24th February, 2007 equivalent to the annual salary of an incumbent Governor or Deputy Governor.
” A mandatory order directing the Defendants to pay all arrears of pension, allowances benefits and all other entitlements due and payable to the Claimant as a former Deputy Governor of Ondo State and to pay his pension for life at the rate equivalent to the annual salary of an incumbent Governor or Deputy Governor.
The Claimant is consequently seeking the sum of N10 million as damages to compensate for his “untold hardship, emotional distress, scorn and ridicule to which the action of the Defendants exposed the Claimant to, ” as the court is yet to fix a date for the hearing of the suit.
Sources hinted that the non-payment of the former Deputy Governor’s emoluments might not be unconnected with his refusal to decamp from his party, Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).