By David Odama
An aggrieved widow, Mrs Mary Aweh Agbor has cried out over alleged unlawful and forceful ejection of her family from the Naval Barrack by a retinue of armed military personnel.
Mrs Mary, a wife of late Master Warrant Officer (MWO) in the Nigerian Navy, Joseph Agbor is challenging the brutal use of armed personnel to chase her along with her three children out of Navy Barrack in Lagos when death benefits of her late husband have not been paid.
In a petition written by her family lawyer Mr Oluchukwu Nnamuah, the aggrieved widow alleged that her children, Esther Agbor, Blessing Peter and Favour who are dependants of the late Agbor were allegedly humiliated harassed, traumatized, thrown and thoroughly disgraced out of the barracks
The widow alleged that the action of the armed military personnel against her children was inhuman and gross violation of their fundamental right and the prevailing law in the military.
Among other things, the widow claimed that all plea by her family and sympathizers to the armed men to allow them salvage their belongings fell on deaf ears as their properties were thrown out without mercy.
Insisting that her defenseless children did not deserve the inhuman treatment meted out to them while being kicked out of the barrack,
The widow claimed that her late husband served the Nigerian Navy and the country diligently before he died in active service.
In the similar petitions to Secretary to Government of the Federation SGF, Senate President and House of Representatives Speaker the widow chronicled how her apartment was cordoned off by stern-looking armed personnel before her family was thrown out of the barrack.
The widow therefore demanded from the Navy payment of N500M damages and compensation, written apology as well as provision of accommodation pending the resolution of her late husband entitlements.
However, in response to the petition, the Chief of Naval Staff described the claims of the widow as unfounded and an outright falsehood.
Nigerian Navy Reacts
In a reply to the widow’s lawyer, the Nigerian Navy claimed that full death benefits of her late husband have been paid into a Guarantee Trust Bank GTB account provided for the purpose of entitlements payment.
The letter from the Chief of the Naval Staff Office and signed by Commodore Jas Malafa, read in part “pertinently, investigations revealed that your client and the family of late MWO Agbor Joseph S5303 were advised to resolve their disputes amicably after which the parties presented an agreed joint account to the Nigerian Navy.
“Consequently, the Military Pensions Board paid the death benefits into the agreed joint account presented by your client and the other contending dependants of the deceased rating.
“Accordingly, I am directed to inform your law firm, without prejudice, that the practice in the Nigerian Navy is that the next of kin or dependants of a deceased personnel is expected to vacate the official accommodation six months after or as soon as the death benefits are paid.
“In line, you are advised to convey the above position to your client and advise her to seek for alternative accommodation without further delay”