…orders initial payment of N1m on 30th November 2022 as first installment
The Presiding Judge, Makurdi Judicial Division of the National Industrial Court, Hon. Justice Isaac Essien has ordered Benue State Government to pay one retiree, Mr. Ukari Terkula the sum of N5.3m being the balance of his computed gratuity and the sum of N2.7m unpaid pension upon retirement from the service of the Benue State and State Hospitals Management Board after 35years of meritorious service that ended on the 31st day of March 2017.
The Court directed that the amount ordered to be paid shall be in installments with payment of N1m by the 30th November 2022 and subsequent payment of N500k monthly until the liquidation of the judgment debt.
Justice Essien held that Mr. Ukari Terkula has been able to prove his entitlement to the gratuity and pension as claimed and computed in exhibit E.
From facts, the claimant- Mr. Ukari Terkula had asked for a determination of whether upon the true and proper construction of Section 10 of Benue State Pensions and Gratuities Law Cap 125 Laws of Benue State 2004 and Section 210 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (As Amended), he, as a retiree of the Benue State Hospitals Management Board Makurdi is not entitled to the payment of the pension and gratuity.
The Claimant had submitted that from the computation in exhibit E, he was entitled to the sum of N6,445,776.00k as gratuity and an annual pension of N1,718,874.00k that all effort to get his entitlement from September 2018 to March 2020, making a total of 19 months proved abortive and urged the court to grant the reliefs sought.
In defense, the defendant urged the court to dismiss the suit for lacking merit.
Delivering the judgment after careful evaluation of the submission of both parties, the presiding Judge, Justice Isaac Essien held that by the community reading of Benue State Pensions and Gratuities Law and Section 210 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 guarantee to the claimant as a retiree, a right to gratuity and pension upon retirement from the service of Benue State of Nigeria.
The Court stated that contrary to Mr. Ukari Terkula’s position that he has not been paid any sum as gratuity, his statement of account shows that he was credited with the sum of N1, 134, 351.84k on 19th September 2018 as part payment of his gratuity leaving a balance of N5,311,244.16k.
“The counter affidavit of the defendant in this matter has fallen short of the requirement of the law. The counter affidavit does not constitute a proper defence which can prevent this court from resolving the sole issue in this originating summons in favour of the claimant.” Justice Essien ruled.