*Petitions National Assembly, Navy, SGF

 

*We’ve paid her husband’s death benefits -CNS

A widow, Mrs Mary Aweh Agbor has petitioned the Senate President, Dr Ahmad Lawan; Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila; Secretary to Government of the Federation, SGF, Mr Boss Mustapha and the Chief of Naval Staff, CNS, Rear Admiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo over alleged forceful ejection of her family from the Naval Barracks in Lagos by a retinue of armed military personnel.

The petitioner, who is the wife of the late Master Warrant Officer, MWO in the Nigerian Navy, Joseph Agbor has therefore demanded N500million as damages and compensation, as well as a letter of apology and provision of accommodation pending the resolution of her late husband’s entitlements.

In the petition written by her family lawyer, Mr Oluchukwu Nnamuah, the aggrieved widow is challenging the alleged brutal use of armed personnel to chase her along with her three children out of the barrack when the death benefits of her late husband have not been paid.

According to her, the children, Esther, Blessing Peter and Favour who are dependants of the late Agbor were allegedly “humiliated  harassed, traumatised, thrown and thoroughly disgraced out of the barracks.”

She stated that the action of the armed military personnel against her children was inhuman and a gross violation of their fundamental rights and the prevailing law in the military.

Mrs Agbor added that plea by her family and sympathizers to the armed men to allow them to salvage their belongings fell on deaf ears as their properties were thrown out without mercy.

Insisting that her defenceless children did not deserve the inhuman treatment meted out to them while being kicked out of the barrack, she stated that her late husband served the Nigerian Navy and the country diligently before he died in active service.

The widow further lamented that her apartment was cordoned off by stern-looking armed personnel before her family was thrown out of the barrack.

However, in response to the petition, the Chief of Naval Staff described the claims of the widow as unfounded and outright falsehood.

In a reply to the widow’s lawyer, the Nigerian Navy claimed that full death benefits of her late husband have been paid into a Guarantee Trust Bank, GTB account provided for the purpose of entitlement payment.

The letter from the Chief of the Naval Staff Office and signed by Commodore Jas Malafa reads 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 dependents of deceased personnel are expected to vacate the official accommodation six months after or as soon as the death benefits are paid.

“Inline, you are advised to convey the above position to your client and advise her to seek alternative accommodation without further delay.”


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