Almost 10 years after retirement from service, some retired police officers in Cross River State are still begging the authorities of the Nigeria Police Force to pay them their gratuities and monthly pension.
The retired officers, who are living in penury, said they had yet to receive any money after undergoing the usual verification more than eight different times since retirement.
Frail looking 69-year-old retired Deputy Superintendent of Police, Mr. Udoh Akpan, said his children had stopped going to school because of lack of money.
The retired DSP said he last served at the Cross River State Command headquarters in Calabar, where he retired in 2006 and had done the verification more than seven times without getting paid.
According to Akpan, who currently squats in an apartment in Calabar with his five children, there was assurance that he would be paid after the last verification exercise in January 2015.
He said, “I have been retired since 2006 and I have always hoped that I will be paid my gratuity and start receiving my monthly pension, but I have not received any. After the last verification in January 2015, I was promised that the money will be paid in a few months’ time but it has not come. I have done the verification more than 10 times. At a time, they said I was disturbing them.
“My eldest daughter who is a graduate cannot collect her certificate because I did not pay her school fees. I live with my children in one funny apartment because I do not have anywhere to go to.
“I put in my best to serve the force for 35 years and this is what I get. Most of our colleagues are dead without receiving their pension. This is so discouraging.”
Another retiree, Ejom, said he last served in Aboh, Delta State, before retiring in 2006, but had yet to receive his gratuity after several verifications.
Unlike Akpan, Ejom, who retired as an Inspector, was lucky to have someone that bought a bus for him under hire purchase agreement, which he uses for commercial purposes.
“I served the force and retired voluntarily after 30 years. I have seven children and four of them are in the university. I have not received any pension or gratuity since I retired in 2006,” he said.
Ejom said another retired cop, James Iyamba, who retired as a DSP in 2006, suffered stroke in 2013 and was paralysed before he died on August 25, 2015.
He said, “Iyamba last served in the Asokoro Division of the Nigeria Police Force, Abuja, and had stroke in 2013 which he managed until he was paralysed. He visited Abuja three times to do verification before he died.