By Godwin Oritse
THE Lagos State branch of the Nigerian Ports Authority Pensioners Welfare Association, NPAPWA, has denied media report credited to the current leadership of the national body of the association headed by Alhaji Ali Umoru on the payment of pension saying that “Ali Umaru is unknown to us as he claims and has no authority to speak for us.”
In a rejoinder made available to Vanguard Maritime Report, and signed by the Chairman of the Lagos branch of NPAPWA, Mr Ganiyu Makanjuola, accused the national leadership of the group of deliberately misrepresenting and suppressing the facts on the issue of outstanding pension increase.
Makanjuola appealed to the management of the NPA to rethink the issue to increase pension payment and pay them their right.
Part of the rejoinder reads: “Our attention has been drawn to a publication in the Vanguard Newspaper of Wednesday, September 4, 2019, on page (3) maritime reports in which one Ali Umoru authored a press release on the payment of our entitlements.
“We the Lagos Branch Executives and the entire members of the Association (NPA Lagos Branch) hereby state that the author, Ali Umaru, is unknown to us as he claims and has no authority to speak for us.
“The NPA Lagos Branch Executive, its entire members and its national body have been in courts for over 11 years. The case file is SUIT NO: FHC/L/CS/559/08. Nigerian Ports Authority is a party to the case.
“The national body, despite the case in court held an illegal election where they foisted themselves as caretaker Committee. This action was brought to the attention of the court. In the Federal High Court ruling delivered on November 13, 2013, by Justice O. E. Abang, all the caretaker members namely Mr. R.A Onatafe, Mr. Z.C. Opara, Mr. A. I. Duru, Mr. O. Obitope, Mr. A. Nwogu, Mr. A.I. Umoru and Mr. J. N. Ailkins, sitting as a national officer were nullified and sacked by the court. (NPA)
“Pending the determination of the suit, the DCR of the court is to take command of all the running of the association. Not done, the same caretaker appealed the ruling at the Court of Appeal Lagos. In the Court of Appeal, suit No. CA/L//47/2014 was delivered on February 24, 2017.
“The Appeal Court re-affirmed the sacking of Messr. I. A. Duru, O. Obitope, A. Nwosu as a caretaker committee of National body. Mr. A. Umoru is never a party to the suit. Mr. Ali Umoru as he calls himself and his cohorts namely Mr Duru, Mr Obitope and Mr Nwosu has been sacked by two courts.
“They are not representing us as National officers. We the entire members of (NPA PWA) Lagos call on the management of the NPA to please rethink and pay us our right as other government agencies do to their respective senior citizens, for example, Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC and others.
“We want the managing director of the Nigerian Ports Authority to know that several letters were written to her over the cases in court and we have had no feedback yet. The sacked caretaker committee with the collaboration of Alhaji Bukar under the guise of Human Resource is using your name to deny us our right. We are using this press release to tell the world about the injustice going on in the NPA.
“Our case has been in court for over 11 years but the NPA management has never asked for settlement because the sacked illegal committee has the backing of the management. Therefore, if the NPA cannot call for settlement they should stop using Alhaji A. Umoru and others to block our right.
“Finally the Managing Director should establish her integrity as a human right watch crusader that made her stand out among others. We call on her officers in charge to be fair to all. We want our right. God Bless Nigeria.”