IN THE NATIONAL INDUSTRIAL COURT OF NIGERIA
IN THE MAKURDI JUDICIAL DIVISION
HOLDEN AT MAKURDI
SUIT NO NICN/MKD/127/2020
BEFORE HIS LORDSHIP, HON. JUSTICE (DR.) 1. J. ESSIEN
DATE: 3rd May, 2023
DR. KPAREVZUA K. RONALD Claimant
1. BEREAU OF PENSIONS.
2. GOVERNMENT OF BENUE STATE. Defendants
3. ATTORNEY GENERAL OF BENUE STATE .
The claimant commenced this action by a complaint dated the 21/7/2020 and filed on the 5/10/2020. In the complaint the claimant sought the following reliefs from the court:
1. An order of the Honourable court directing the defendants to pay the claimant the sum of N21,022,526.00 (twenty one million, twenty two thousand, five hundred and twenty six naira) only being claimants gratuity
2. An order of this honourable court directing the defendants to pay the claimant his arrears of monthly pension in the sum of N513,900.00 (five hundred and thirteen thousand nine hundred naira) only monthly from 1st August, 2015 to date of judgment.
3. The sum of N5,000,000.00 (five million naira) only as general damages.
4. Post Judgment interest of 10% per annum on the claimant’s gratuity of N2 l ,022,526.00 ( twenty one million, twenty two thousand, five hundred and twenty six naira) only until it is fully liquidated, the interest to also be calculated pro-rata.
Filed along with the complaint, is a statement of facts and a witness deposition of the claimant. The claimant also filed a motion for summary judgment on the 10/10/2020. In the motion, the claimant seeks the following reliefs:
1. An order of the honourable court directing the defendants to pay the claimant his gratuity in the sum of N21,022,526.00 (twenty one million, twenty two thousand, five hundred and twenty six naira) only.
2. An order of this honourable court directing the defendants to pay the claimant his arrears of monthly pension for 34 months at N508.656.00 monthly in the total sum of Nl7,294,304.00, ( seventeen million, two hundred and ninety-four thousand, three hundred and four naira) only·
3. Any further order(s) the honourable court may deem fit to make in the circumstances of this case.
The originating processes and the motion for summary judgment were served on the defendants. The defendant was represented by counsel but they did not file any response to the originating process and the motion for summary judgment.
The motion for summary judgment was heard on the 7/3/2023. The motion for summary judgment is supported by a 20 paragraph affidavit deposed to by the claimant. Annexed to the affidavit are Exhibits A to F.
From the affidavit of the claimant it is his position that he joined the service of the defendants as Veterinary Officer on the 17th July, 1980. That he voluntarily retired from the services of the defendant after 35 Years of meritorious service on the rank of Chief Veterinary Officer and Director of Livestock Services, Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources. The retirement was approved by the defendants with effect from 18/7/2015. This is shown on Exhibit B and C. The computation of the retirement benefits of the claimant was done in exhibit D. From the computation the claimant was entitled to be paid the sum of N21,022,526.00k. Also he is entitled to a yearly pension of N6,166,800.00k . The pension translates to the sum of N508,656.00k per month as shown on the statement of the claimant’s statement of salary account annexed as exhibit F.
On the issue of gratuity, at the hearing of this suit, the claimant counsel admitted that the claimant was paid the sum of N300,000 after his retirement. This has reduced the sum claimed as gratuity to the sum of N20,722,526.00k. This sum is not disputed. Judgment is hereby entered in the sum of N20,722,526.00k (twenty million, seven hundred and twenty two thousand, five hundred and twenty six naira) only in favour of the claimant against the 2nd defendant being the balance of the claimants computed and unpaid gratuity.
The claimant also claims the sum of N17, 294,304.00k being the arrears of pension for 34 months at the monthly pension of N508,656.00k. I have carefully examined the statement of account of the claimant attached as exhibit F. The entries show that the claimant has so far received pension for up to 46 months after retirement. How the claimant arrived at a backlog of N34 months is not clear to the court. The claims for gratuity is therefore adjourned for prove by calling evidence.
The motion succeeds in part. The sum of N20,722,526.00k (twenty million, seven hundred and twenty two thousand, five hundred and twenty six naira) awarded as the balance of the claimant gratuity shall be paid by instalment. The first instalment of N2,000,000 shall be paid on or before the 30 June, 2023. Thereafter the 2nd defendant shall continue to pay the sum of N1,000,000 at the end of each subsequent month until the liquidation of the judgment sum.
Parties are to bear their respective cost.
Judgment is hereby entered.
Hon. Justice (Dr.) I. J. Essien
F. T. Uparegh Esq. for the claimant.
E. T. Nyityo Esq for defendants.