Judiciary Retiree Cries Out, Says, they have not paid us since 2009!

I want to bring to your notice “THE ROT IN THE JUDICIARY”.
It is not only Judiciary workers under the aegis of JUSUN that just called off there strike to press home their demand for better welfare that suffer injustice in the Judiciary, the retirees of the Federal Judiciary are not left out in this injustice, our only crime is that we served our Nation in the Judicial Branch (the federal Judiciary) and retired under the new contributory pension scheme.

At the commencement of the new pension scheme, many civil servants heaved a sigh of relief, including our poor selves in the Federal Judiciary in view of the fact that the payment of pensions under the old scheme has become for the Federal and State government a herculean task. However for us retirees of the Federal Judiciary, the euphoria brought about by the expectations of the new Scheme has turned into a night mare.

We have not been paid our entitlement since 2009 and we have no hope of being paid, simply because the National Pension Scheme decided in 2010 that it will no longer pay the accrued benefits of retirees of Federal Judiciary because the National Judicial Council had on its part refused to contribute the 5% wage bill for the redemption of Accrued Pension Benefits as provided for by the Pension Reform Act 2004.

The National Judicial Council on its part, through the Executive Secretary, Mr Danladi Halilu, is claiming that the Act did not specifically state that NJC should be responsible for the remittance of 5% wage bill but that the law placed that responsibility on the shoulders of the Federal Government. According to Mr Danladi Halilu, Section 29, sub Section 2 of the Pension Reform Act clearly placed that obligation on the Federal Government.

Mr Danladi Halilu has continued to hold onto this section in his continued denial of the right of pension under the new scheme to the Staff of Federal Judiciary. Even after he had sought for and obtained clarification on the issue from Pencom and the budget Office of the Federation, he still remains adamant.

I wish to State that from 2009 till date no Staff of Federal Judiciary who retired under the contributory Pension Scheme has been paid a kobo and as the days go by many more people are retiring without any hope of being paid.
Recently the National Assembly passed another Pension Reform Act 2014 and Nigeria hosted the World Pension Summit which was given wide publicity in the Mass Media and prominent individuals including the Director General of the National Pension Commission, extolled the remarkable achievements of the Commission and the Scheme. But for us retired employees of the Federal Judiciary headed by Hon. Justice Aloma Mukhtar and administered by Danladi Halilu, all these are mere cock and bull stories. We have not experienced the magic of contributory Pension Scheme nor do we have hope to do so unless well meaning Nigerians prevail on these two Officials to do what is right and obey the law.

We have written several petitions to the appropriate authorities but no one is willing to listen or investigate our story, we have also written to media houses to help us expose this injustice in the Judiciary no response yet.
On behalf of more than 500 Judiciary retiree workers, I am through “The New African Press”, appealing to Nigerians whose voices can be heard in high places and the Mass Media to please SAVE OUR SOULS. Five years waiting for what the law says we ought to get within 3 months is unbelievable but true. More than 10 persons among us have died, some have lost loved ones and so many more have either had their kids thrown out of educational institutions or seriously ill or dying with diseases that can easily be managed if they had their entitlements, some have resigned to fate because of fear of being victimised by exposing this “ROT”. I ask myself what injustice is worst than this one we are facing? If exposing the Judiciary and the World hears our cry is the only help I can render to save the situation, I will do it and wait for the consequences. PLEASE HELP US BEFORE MORE PEOPLE DIE. May God Almighty Bless you and your future endeavours as you hear and act on the cries of the dying who are being subjected to this harrowing experience by the only institution Nigerians believe and expect to do justice.

Onwukeme Kenneth U.

For and on behalf of hundreds of other Federal Judiciary retirees.


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