The Benue State House of Assembly has repealed the law concerning the maintenance of former elected governors and their deputies. The bill, initially passed and assented to by former Governor Samuel Ortom in May 2023, has now been overturned by the state assembly.

The bill for repealing the law was presented on Monday by Douglas Akya, the House Standing Committee on Appointments, Public Service, and Pension Matters, representing Makurdi South Constituency in the state assembly. Akya argued that the law was not enacted in the state’s interest, especially considering its limited resources, which should be directed towards more pressing obligations.

Several lawmakers, including Samuel Agada of Ogbadibo Constituency and Alfred Emberga of Makurdi North Constituency, echoed Akya’s. They emphasized that the state’s financial constraints and significant infrastructure gaps made it impractical to allocate substantial funds to former governors and their deputies.

The controversial law had sparked public outcry since its passage by the Ortom administration, particularly from the then-opposition party, which later emerged victorious in the governorship election. Calls for the repeal of the law intensified when Governor Hyacinth Alia assumed office. However, the legislative process to repeal the pension law took approximately one year.

In addition to repealing the pension law, the legislators also addressed the issue of harassment and extortion of money from investors, developers, and businessmen, commonly referred to as ‘marching ground’. A bill prohibiting such activities was passed during Monday’s plenary session, led by Elias Audu, the Chairman of the House Standing Committee on Lands, Survey, and Solid Minerals. Audu highlighted the necessity of the law to curb the excesses of miscreants who engage in land extortion from developers and residents.