By Peter DURU, Makurdi
Tragedy struck in Benue State when a former Commissioner for Justice in the state, Barrister Moses Abi, slumped and died inside the Makurdi High Court premises while undergoing pensioners screening.
Eye witness at the venue of the screening exercise told Saturday Vanguard that the former State Executive Council member who was accompanied to the venue by one of his sons had gone out to make copies of the Nigeria Judicial Council screening forms but slumped on his way back to the screening arena and died.
According to sources, the deceased had before his death decried the rigour of the screening exercise and at a point complained of exhaustionÂ due to the long period of time he spent waiting to process his papers.
The son of the late commissioner who opted to complete the verification of his fatherâ€™s application refused to speak on his fatherâ€™s death saying he was there to complete what his father could not accomplish before his death.
It was learnt when the news got to the senior citizens, they felt dejected with the whole exercise while those who knew him claimed that the late Commissioner had been sick for some time.
Commenting on the death of a colleague, an octoge-narian and retiree who spoke on grounds of anonymity the federal and state government should look into how to conduct such exercises that would not cut short the life of their senior citizens who had offered meritorious service to the nation.
He said it was inhuman for old men and women to be exposed to such tedious exercise without putting their fragile nature into consideration stressing that because of old age they are prone to all kinds of ailment and government should not be seen to compound their problems. The head of the team conducting the verification, Mrs Oritsejafor Aina, confirmed the death of Barrister Abi explaining that it was a sad development.
She also said the December pension of the deceased was confirmed by the son to have been paid into the deceased account.
She stated that the over 200 pensioners who are either on their payroll or were yet to be paid their monthly pensions were screened in the exercise