Oyo Pensioners sue Gov. Ajimobi over N42bn arrears

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Governor Abiola Ajimobi dragged to court over unpaid pensions, gratuities
Governor Abiola Ajimobi dragged to court over unpaid pensions, gratuities

By Suleiman Shehu

The Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP) in Oyo State  on Tuesday dragged Gov. Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State and five  others before an Oyo State High Court in Ibadan over  the unpaid N42.3 billion gratuities and pensions arrears owed  primary school teachers and local government pensioners.

Joined in the suit were the Oyo State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters, Commissioner for Finance as well as the  Accountant-General and the state’s  Head of Service.

At Tuesday’s  sitting  before Justice Maruf Adegbola, the union’s  counsel, Lasun Sanusi (SAN),  urged the court to direct the Oyo State Government to pay the arrears of the concerned  pensioners.

Sanusi said the primary school teachers and local government pensioners were dying almost  on daily basis  due to difficulty in getting medications for their various health challenges.

The counsel also  told the court that an agreement was  reached between  the state government and the pensioners that the arrears would be paid in instalments, praying that  this be  made a consent judgment.

He  said since the  state  government was not denying that  it was its  responsibility to pay the said  money, his clients were urging the court to give its  judgment.

The counsel also said that other respondents in the suit had been served except Ajimobi, urging   the court to grant his ex-parte motion seeking  its leave  to serve the governor by substituted means.

The counsel suggested that the governor be served through the state’s  Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, being the chief law officer of the state.

Adegbola consequently granted the ex-parte motion and ordered that the processes be served on the governor through the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice.

The judge  said that the processes and other documents  to be filed in the matter be taken to  the Office of the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice.

He adjourned the case till July 11 for hearing.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that  none of the respondents was in court.

NAN also reports that the  pensioners, who had trooped to  the court,  called on the state government to urgently pay their pension arrears and gratuities.

Representatives of the Nigeria Labour Congress in the state also  attended the court sitting.


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