Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Garnishee Orders: Governor Alia begs Benue pensioners to withdraw court cases

Mr Alia reminded the pensioners that he had been faithful to his campaign promises by paying their monthly allowances.

• October 31, 2023
Governor Hyacinth Alia
Governor Hyacinth Alia

To stop the series of garnishee orders against the state government, Governor Hyacinth Alia has appealed to pensioners to withdraw all cases filed against it in court.

Mr Alia, represented by the Commissioner for Justice and Public Order, Fidelis Mnyim, made the appeal on Monday in Makurdi during a stakeholders’ meeting between government and the pensioners.

“All the calls to withdraw cases from court are not threats, but an appeal to allow the governor to concentrate on regular payment of pension allowances and gratuities,” Mr Alia said.

The governor, who recalled that the arrears of pension allowances and gratuities of the state and local government pensioners, amounting to N163.7 billion, and which was inherited from the previous administration, would be gradually settled.

He, however, reminded the pensioners that he had been faithful to his campaign promises to them by paying their allowances monthly, adding that those who had retired after he assumed office had been paid their entitlements.

“As at the time the governor assumed office, the state pensioners were owed 42 months, and the local government retirees, 96 months, all amounting to N163.7 billion,” the governor said.

Some pensioners who had sought relief from the court against the government over arrears of gratuities and pensions were given consent judgment and subsequent garnishee orders.

A garnishee order is a judicial proceeding in which a creditor asks the court to order a third party to turn over to the creditor any of the debtor’s property in possession of that third party.

Speaking at the meeting, the state chairman of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners, Michael Vembe, appreciated the governor for keeping his campaign promises by paying pension allowances promptly.

Mr Vembe, however, urged Mr Alia to implement the consequential adjustment harmonisation and give the pensioners palliatives.

He also requested the governor to give free treatment to pensioners at the primary health centres across the state, lamenting that most of the pensioners still earned N2,000 monthly and could not afford hospital bills.

Also speaking on behalf of retired permanent secretaries, Hyacinth Ikyagba accused the immediate past administration for not prioritising the welfare of pensioners, blaming it for some of the cases in court. 

(NAN) 

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