By Innocent Anaba
No fewer than 48 retirees of the Federal High Court, who were dismissed from service pursuant to the Federal Government Public Service Reform of 2010, have appealed to the management of the court to pay them their entitlements.
The retirees, who spoke to newsmen at the premises of the Federal High Court, Lagos, said that some of them spent 15 to 18 years in service before their disengagement, adding that the court’s management and their pension fund administrator, had refused to pay them their entitlements despite repeated demands.
A copy of their retirement letter sighted by Vanguard, said: “In line with the Federal Government Public Service Reform and the management’s decision to give effect to same, I am directed to inform you that your services are no longer required.”
The letter, which took effect from December 31, 2010, was dated July 5, 2011, and endorsed by Bello Okandeji, Deputy Chief Registrar of the court in charge of administration.
The letter assured the retirees that their entitlements would be calculated and paid in due course in line with the Public Service Reform Implementation Circular No BPSR/GC/1/001/07 of February 15, 2007.
One of the retirees, Jimoh Fagbemi, who spoke on behalf of others, lamented that it was painful that their entitlements had not been paid three years after their disengagement.
He said: “I want the whole world to know that after putting 15 years of meritorious service in the court and the nation, our entitlements are yet to be paid three years after our disengagement. Just few months back, we lost one of us due to the fact that he could not get money to take care of his health. Many of our children have been sent out of school because we could not pay their fees, and yet, the management of the court has failed to pay our entitlements.”
Efforts to get reaction from the court management on the issue proved abortive, but a source in the court, who pleaded anonymity, said that serious efforts “are being made to pay the retirees their entitlements.”