The Delta and Edo State governments have spent over N842m on pensions and benefits for two convicted ex-governors in the last 12 years, findings by Sunday Linknaija have shown.

The two former governors, James Ibori of Delta State and Lucky Igbinedion of Edo State, were convicted for embezzling public funds between 1999 and 2007.

Ibori and Igbinedion had shortly before the end of their tenure signed laws that would guarantee life pensions and several benefits for them and their successors.

Igbinedion stole billions of naira from the state’s treasury and was convicted of money laundering and ordered to return N500m as well as three houses. He was sentenced to six months in prison but given the option of paying a fine of N3.5m through a controversial plea bargain with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in 2008

The former Edo State governor had while in office signed a law which made all former governors entitled to 100 per cent of all allowances of sitting governors.

The law also makes a former governor to be entitled to an officer not above grade level 12 as a special assistant, and a personal secretary not below grade level 10 who shall be selected by the former governor from the public service of Edo State.

According to the Revenue Mobilisation and Fiscal Commission, a governor’s basic salary is N185, 308.75 while he is entitled to a hardship allowance of N92, 654.37 and a consistency allowance of N370, 617.50 bringing the total monthly package to N648, 580.62 or N7.7m a year.

The SA and personal secretary are not expected to earn less than N350,000 jointly based on the civil service salary structure.

This implies that Igbinedion has earned about N92.4m from the Edo State treasury since leaving office while N50.4m has been spent on his personal aides, bringing the total to N142m.

For former Delta State Governor, Ibori, who served between 1999 and 2007, he signed into law the Delta State Governor and Deputy Governor Pension Rights and Other Benefits Law 2005 which was later amended in 2009.

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