Entitlements: NIC To Hear 1,330 Immigration Retirees’ Suit

Justice Osatohanmwen Obaseki-Osaghae of the National Industrial Court (NIC) in Lagos has fixed May 24 for a suit filed by 1,330 retirees of the Nigeria Immigration Service against the Federal Government and others over non-payment of their benefits in line with appropriate salary structure.

The retirees filed the suit exactly 9 years after they were compulsorily retired from service without their entitlements.

At the last adjourned date, it emerged that the first three defendants namely Chairman of Civil Defence, Fire, Immigration and Prisons Service Board (CDFIPB), Nigeria Immigration Service and Comptroller General of Immigration were yet to file in necessary processes in response to the suit, while other defendants namely Accountant General of the Federation, Director General of Bureau of Public Service Reform and the Attorney General of the Federation have put in one processes or the other.

In view of that, Justice Obaseki-Osaghae adjourned the matter to May 24 to enable the filing of necessary processes.

The suit was filed in a representative capacity by five of the retirees, who are Pastor Onietan Joseph, Yusuf Lateef, Mamman Hosea, Chujor Patience and Patience Jamani.

The CDFIPB is the agency of government that is responsible for payment of pension and other entitlements of officers of Immigration Service and other sister agencies.

In their statement of facts before the court, the retirees recalled that they joined the service at different times and were enlisted as Immigration officers and served in various departments for several years until they were compulsorily retired in 2006.

Their compulsory retirement, according to the suit, was informed by the presidential approval of the report and recommendation of the Presidential Committee on the restructuring of the Nigeria Immigration Service pursuant to a meeting held on July 20, 2006.

They recalled that their compulsory retirement was hurriedly carried out by the Immigration Service even before the enabling circular authorising the downsized and right sized exercise took effect in January 2007.

The retirees further stated that prior to their retirement, their salaries were paid with the Harmonised Paramilitary Salary Structure (HARPSS), while the said salary structure was replaced with the Unified Paramilitary Structure (UPSS) and same was approved for payment of affected officers.

Source : Independent

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