A widow to a deceased naval officer has sued the Nigerian Navy for N500 million over alleged forceful ejection from her accommodation and inhuman treatment in the hands navy officials.
The widow, Mary Aweh Agbor, wife of the late Master Warrant Officer Joseph Agbor, in a petition against the Nigerian Navy to the Secretary to the Government of Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, and copied the leadership of the National Assembly through the family lawyer, Oluchukwu Onamuah, said Navy had physically and emotionally traumatised her and her children.
She claimed the children of the deceased, who died in active duty, were physically assaulted and forcefully ejected from their accommodation in the barracks on the authority of the leadership of the Navy in Lagos even when the due benefits for the deceased were yet to be paid.
Relating their ordeal in the petition, Mrs Agbor said her children; Esther, Blessing, Peter and Favour, were harassed, traumatised, humiliated and thrown out of the barracks despite pleas that they be allowed to remain until their father’s entitlements were paid.
The widow stated that the action of the Nigerian Navy was a gross violation of their fundamental human rights and the prevailing laws of the Navy and consequently demanded for compensation to the tune of N500million.
Crying over the mistreatment, she said they didn’t deserve such harsh treatment moreso as her late husband- Joseph- died in active duty while serving the country diligently.
Meanwhile, the Office of the Chief of Naval Staff has refuted the claim, saying her late husband’s entitlements were duly paid before she was asked to vacant the accommodation.
The office described her claims as unfounded and outright falsehood.
According to a reply to the widow’s lawyer, the Nigerian Navy said the family was advised to vacant the residence six months after the death as stipulated by law.
It also said full death benefits of her late husband had been paid into a Guarantee Trust Bank account the family provided for that purpose.
The letter signed by Commodore Jas Malafa, said in part: “Pertinently, investigations revealed that your client and the family of late MWO Agbor Joseph S5303 were advised to resolve their disputes amicably after which the parties presented an agreed joint account to the Nigerian Navy.
“Consequently, the Military Pensions Board paid the death benefits into the agreed joint account presented by your client and the other contending dependants of the deceased rating.
“Accordingly, I am directed to inform your law firm, without prejudice, that the practice in the Nigerian Navy is that the next of kin or dependants of a deceased personnel is expected to vacate the official accommodation six months after or as soon as the death benefits are paid.
“In line with this you are advised to convey the above position to your client and advise her to seek for alternative accommodation without further delay.”