Research institutes’ pensioners may sue FG over pension funds

Agboola Bayo

Embattled pensioners from the research institutes across the country are now set for a showdown with the federal government over an alleged fraud in the disbursement of their pension funds.
The pensioners, mainly from the National Cereal Research Institute, Badeggi, and Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria (CRIN), Ibadan, have vowed to head for court and petition the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (INEC) to investigate the alleged manipulation and short payment.

They there were alleged deliberate manipulation in the computation and payment of their gratuity and pensions resulting in the short payment of beneficiaries.

In their petition dated March 24, 2014,  signed by their counsel, Mr. Femi Falana, the pensioners threatened to initiate legal actions against the government and those in charge of their pension over the alleged manipulations and forgeries if, “within 21 days, the office of the  Accountant-General of the Federation fails to correct the noticeable anomalies.”

The pensioners, under the aegis of Severed Staff of Research Institutes, specifically alleged that some unnamed personnel in the Office of the Accountant General were deliberately manipulating the computation and payment of their gratuity and pensions by using forged documents, thus short-paying the beneficiaries to the tune of millions of naira.

They copied the Attorney-General of the Federation, the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation and the Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Public Service Reforms Commission, alleged that the document on the salary structure known as the Consolidated Tertiary Institutions Salary Structure (CONTISS), which was used to prepare the entitlements due to members “was forged and does not represent the provisions of CONTISS as regard computation of gratuity and pension hence the short payment of their balances.”

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