By Anthony Ogbonna
President Muhammadu Buhari, Wednesday, approved the payment of pension for police officers who were granted presidential pardon in 2000 after serving in the defunct Biafran Police during the 30 months Nigeria Civil war.
The personnel who were granted presidential pardoned by the then President Olusegun Obasanjo have till now not received their pension.
However, a statement released by the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) on Wednesday said President Buhari has approved the payment of pension for the personnel. It said a total of 162 officers will be payrolled while 57 Next of Kin who have also not been paid their death benefits will be paid in the first batch.
It said the first batch of the payment will commence in Enugu on Friday the 20th of October, 2017.
According to the statement, “The general public would recall that Nigeria witnessed an ugly civil war between July, 1967 and January, 1970 and as a result of that unfortunate period in our history, some members of the Armed Forces, the Nigeria Police and the Paramilitary Officers who took part with the Secessionist were dismissed from the service.
“The dismissal of those officers was commuted to retirement in year 2000 through a Presidential Amnesty granted on 29th May, 2000 by the Administration of the then President, Olusegun Obasanjo, GCFR.
“A verification exercise was conducted for the pardoned officers by the defunct Police Pension Office and recently PTAD on one hand and the Police Service Commission on the other.
“Despite the Presidential pardon and verification of these officers, many of them remained unpaid years after the pardon.
“However, the present administration under the able leadership of President, C-in-C of the Armed Forces, Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, has graciously given approval for the payment of pension entitlements to these officers and their Next of Kin.
“PTAD is commencing the payment of pension benefits to the retired war affected police officers on Friday 20th October, 2017 in Enugu.
“162 officers will be payrolled and 57 Next of Kin who have also not been paid their death benefits will be paid in the first batch.”