By Evelyn USMAN
Plans by someÂ personnel of the Police Pensions Office(PPO), to include files ofÂ facelessÂ Police retirees into the office payroll have been uncovered, with the recovery ofÂ four hundredÂ filesÂ allegedly smuggled among those to be verified for payment.
The discovery was made by the immediate past Director of PPO, Mr Essai Dangabar in an exclusive interview with Saturday Vanguard.
Dangabar who assumed office as the director in December 2007, also disclosed that during his tenure which ended two months ago,Â a total ofÂ N31 Billion was paid as pensions and gratuities to about twenty-nine thousand police retirees and their next- of -kins.
Aside this startling discovery, he said thereÂ Â were also foiled attempt to use duplicated files to fraudulently receiveÂ payments and furtherÂ discovery ofÂ other fraudulent practices like including names ofÂ living policemen among the dead.
Unfortunately for two out of the lots who posed as retirees whereas they were not, he said they were arrested and had long been handed over to the police.
Although DangabarÂ who has served the nation in different capacity did not rule out the possibility of an insider connivance in the discovery but he stated that no arrest of the personnel was made until he bowed out of the office,Â as none of them were mentioned by the arrested culprits.
Said he: â€œMost of the discoveriesÂ can not really happen without the connivance of an insider. It is difficult for an outsiderÂ to duplicate a file in such a way that you find it difficult to differentiate between the duplicated and original file. Definitely these are all insiders fault and that is why we have t o device wayâ€
So far, we haveÂ about four hundred files thatÂ went through my office that wereÂ found out to be fraudulent files. On assumption of duty, i made changes and appointed two persons as verification officers who ensured that the files were correct before giving them to me to sign.
It was in th e process that they identified these four hundred files and up to the time i left the office, nobody came forward to lay claims to the files. I even published the names of the files whether they could come but nobody showed up till date.
One of the fraudulent cases we had was files of living persons as among those of late policemen. Unfortunately for two of them they were arrested when they came to claim their moneyâ€
A breakdown of the payment of N31 Billion naira to retirees and their next -of -kin as revealed by him, showed that a total of 19 Billion was paid last year, with the addition of 11,000 retirees who were paid their gratuity for the first time, into the payroll, while the sum of N12 billion was paid this year.
Expressing his gratitude to the government for giving him an opportunity to serve in various capacity, he said even though serving at the Police pension was a challenging one, â€œ it was also a unique opportunity of affecting lives positivelyâ€ , expressingÂ hope that his predecessor would continue from where he stopped to ensure that retirees who have used their better time in serving the country, got their fair share of what they deserve.
in term s pof those f the pay roll we have 29,000. but those paid and not enrolled yet but have been paid their gratuity for the first time we had almost 11,000. we were almost there in terms of payment. what remakin will not be up to a thpousand persons so that the budget in subsequent years will not be that for gratuity but pension payment alone.
I could remember the first year paild around 9Billion. the n we were given 10 Billion , abnd 12 billion. that is 31 billion and am happy that this money has been disburse d and i am thanking the federalovernment for giving us such money to pay the retirees .
i have retired
December 9, 2009