By Glory Abuh-Adejoh
Abuja, – The National Industrial Court on Monday ordered the Benue State government to pay a retired Deputy Director, Paulina Enejo, the sum of N6.9 million, being her gratuity and pension arrears.
The judge, Justice Isaac Essien, while delivering judgment declared that Enejo’s claims for her entitlements were never disputed by the defendants.
“I have carefully considered the case of the claimant in this action.
“It is not in dispute that the claimant in this action by the combined reading of Exhibits C1, C3 C2a and C2b that the claimant was in the employment of the Benue State government until she retired on July 25, 2013.
“Following her retirement the computation of her retirement benefit was done in Exhibit C4. From Exhibit C4 she was entitled to the sum of N5.5 million as gratuity,” said the judge.
The judge further stated that the claim was never disputed by the defendants, who did not enter any defence to this action.
“It is the finding of this court that the claimant is entitled to be paid her gratuity as computed in Exhibit C4.
“Judgment is, therefore, entered in the sum of N5.5 million in favour of the claimant against the first defendant.
“The claimant also claims the sum of N1.4million as one year pension as computed in Exhibit C4.
“This claim was not disputed by the defendants who did not enter any defence to this action.
“I find that the claimant is entitled to the one year pension as computed in Exhibit C4. Judgment is, therefore, entered in favour of the claimant against the first defendant,” the judge held.
The court in addition directed that the first defendant make the first instalment payment of N1 million to the claimant on or before March 30.
The court also ordered that thereafter the Benue State government shall continue to pay the sum of N500,000 to the claimant at the end of subsequent months beginning from April 2023 until the liquidation of the judgment sum.
The court, however, declined to grant the relief of N20 million general damages as well as the claim for 20 per cent on the post judgment interest, for lacking in merit.
From facts, the claimant submitted that she was offered a temporary appointment by the Benue State government on Oct. 2, 1985 via letter of employment dated Oct. 22,1985.
She added that her appointment was made permanent in August 2007 and she was promoted to the rank of Deputy Director of Education.
She added that she rose to the position of Deputy Director Education on Grade Level 15 Step 1, and retired on July 25, 2013.
She averred through her counsel, A.O Aruta, that upon retirement, the defendants requested her to forward her files and all relevant documents to the office of the Auditor- General of the State for computation of payment of her retirement benefits.
The claimant further submitted that despite the computation of her benefit and several verbal demands made to the defendants, her terminal benefits were not paid, hence her approaching the court to direct the defendants to effect the payment.
Joined in the suit as second, third and fourth defendants were Bureau of Pensions, Benue State, Ministry of Lands and Survey, Benue State and the Attorney-General and commissioner for Justice of Benue State respectively. (NAN)