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January 26, 2021
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Court Declared Act Unconstitutional

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The Constitutional Office Holders Benefit Act 1986, was this afternoon, declared unconstitutional, and inconsistent with the Constitution.

The order was handed down by Justice Nicholas Kirriwom, on the proceeding involving Sir Makeno Geno’s retirement benefits.

The court ordered that the Act is inconsistent, because it did not provide a time limit on when the retirement payments should stop.

Parties involved in this application are Sir Makeno Geno as the applicant, and the Solicitor General as the defendant.

This proceeding was filed at the Supreme Court for the court’s interpretation on the rights and entitlements of Constitutional Office Holders.

Sir Makeno’s employment contract with the Public Service ended in 1998. Sir Makeno started receiving his pension payments also in 1998 up till the year 2000.

His pension payments ceased after the Office of the Auditor General received a legal advice stating that Sir Makeno was only entitled for a 12 year pension.

Sir Makeno’s lawyer submitted that the 12 year pension in the Act is not adequate and suitable according to the constitution.

While the Solicitor General argued that issue of adequacy and suitability is a pension scheme and cannot be assessment of the law.

However, this afternoon the five man Supreme Court bench reached a unanimous decision that the act was unconstitutional.

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