When 'Dead' Men Receive Salary
This, however, is no happy story for Ibrahim Suaibu.
He is one of the 127 ex-policemen in Osun state who were dismissed from the Zone 11 command in January 2007 on the grounds that they were over-aged.
Life has been tough for him and his family since then. More painful is the feeling that he could be entitled to some monies from the Police which he might never claim.
How would one explain the continued remittance of pension to unemployed persons when it is common knowledge that pension remittance is deducted from the salary of an employee?
For them, this unusual remittance over the past 10 years can only mean that their salaries are still being paid by the Nigeria Police but are being diverted into another account after their dismissal.
According to Shuaibu, their various pension companies have been sending them quarterly SMS alerts of pension deduction from their salaries for the past 10 years up till the present time.
Bounce News met with Shuaibu and some of his colleagues in Osogbo, the Osun state capital but it was fascinating that the oldest of them seemed younger than many of the policemen seen across the country and one would wonder how they were deemed over-aged.
You can tell by their faces that poverty is the reason they look older and Ibrahim Shuaibu shared their sad story.
“One of us, Mr Ralph Osawaru, with force number 359942 recently committed suicide out of frustration, and one other member, Mr Sunday Adeyemo died of untreated ailment, as a result of paucity of funds.
“While hundreds of us were disengaged from the service on the ground of old age at the point when the oldest amongst us was 35, we continued to get alerts of deductions of pension contribution from our pension administrators.
“We are surprised about where the deductions were coming from since over 10 years, as none of us has been getting salaries in the last 10 years.
“Our case is clear and unambiguous. We suspect that we are being defrauded by some people at the police headquarters.”
Dead or Alive?
Shuaibu and his colleagues feel hard-done by the system they claimed to be loyal to during their years of service.
They feel that since they were still on the payroll of the Police, their belief that their dismissal was unjust had been validated and they demanded reinstatement.
“They always tell us to reapply and we kept doing so but still nothing was done about it. We thought we would be reinstated but to our surprise we heard from the present Inspector-General of Police that we are dead persons – we died in service according to his records.
“Maybe they said we went for a special duty and died in a motor accident, we don’t know. How can 144 people die at one spot?” He wondered.
The so-called dead persons also took their fight to the Senate and the House of Representatives but not much has been done. Possibly because dealing with ghosts requires much more than lawmaking skills.
The question then becomes how does the dead receive pension remittance? From whose salaries are the pension remittances being deducted?
One might argue, since the remittance has been going to their pension accounts, the alleged fraud somehow ends up in their favour. So, why not play dead and choose a good time for resurrection?