By James Ogunnaike, Abeokuta
The Retirees Forum of the Moshood Abiola Polytechnic (REFOMA- MAPOLY), Abeokuta, Ogun State has threatened to drag the State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun to court over differential in arrears of pension being paid them.
The forum, under the aegis of REFOMA, has said through their Lawyers, O. A. Rahman, Abdullah, and Co. that their position to sue the governor followed series of failed advocacy that had been undertaken in the past years.
In a petition addressed to the governor by their Solicitor, titled: “Re- Inappropriate Calculations of Pensions and Gratuities Paid to Retirees Of Moshood Abiola Polytechnic, Abeokuta, the petitioners averred that “at the time of retiring from the service of Ogun State, after serving the state meritorious for various terms/period, all the retired officers/staff of MAPOLY mentioned above retired on COMPCASS and CONTEDISS.”
The petition added that retiring on that last scale of payment “means their pension and gratuities will be paid on their last salaries in accordance with the clear provisions of section 1 of the Pension Act”.
Their counsel added that it was not only wrong but statutorily inappropriate to calculate and pay his clients gratuities and pension using the old salary structure which was not applicable to them anymore.
Abdullah faulted the reliance of the State government on “relying on a note that relates to the serving officers of MAPOLY to pay the pensioners,” against using their last salary scale as enshrined in the pension act.
According to the solicitor, Chief L. A. Abdullah, his clients have written several letters dated April 28, 2018; November 22, 2020, and June 10, 2021, to the government to correct the anomalies without meaningful response.
Chairman of the Forum, Otunba Gbolaha Taiwo, in one of his letters to the government on behalf of the 46 other members, including a one-time rector of the institution, Waheed Kadiri, said most of their members had died for not being able to access medicare.
Taiwo added that abandoning the national and international laws guiding the payment of pension and gratuity by the government has left most members homeless “because they rely on such monies to complete their abode or begin its construction”
He appealed to Governor Abiodun to make the pensioners be among the class of citizens to feel his mantra at different fora that workers will be properly rewarded during his tenure.
Meanwhile, the Solicitors to the mostly Septuagenarian retirees said failure to pay up the differential within 21 days of receiving the letter will be met with litigation.