The Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu, has ordered relevant officials of the state to commence the process of verification of entitlements of former elected officials.
This followed memo written to him by former governor Orji Uzor Kalu and former Deputy Governor, Sir Emeka Ananaba, on their pending entitlements, as contained in the Abia State Governor/Deputy Governor’s Pension Law 2001.
Kalu, while serving as governor of the state between 1999 and 2007, signed the benefits into law, but complained that his entitlements were stopped eight years ago.
Chief Press Secretary to Governor Ikpeazu, Enyinnaya Appolos, in a statement on Sunday said his princioal had directed that actions be taken on the requests.
Kalu’s demand letter, titled “Re: My outstanding unpaid entitlements: Reminder” reads in part: “This is to remind Your Excellency of my outstanding unpaid entitlements under S.5 (a) of the Abia State Governor/Deputy Governor’s Pension Law 2001.
“The outstanding balance covers the period from 2009 to date, including my severance fee and personal vehicles.
“I would appreciate it immensely if Your Excellency would direct the immediate payment of all my outstanding entitlements to date as provided by the aforesaid law into my account.”
Section 3 of the law provides that; “A person who had held office as a democratically elected Governor or Deputy Governor of Abia State of Nigeria and was not removed from office as a result of impeachment shall be entitled to such pension, allowances and privileges in accordance with this law.”
Section 4 reads: “There shall be charged on and paid out of the consolidated revenue of the state such sums of money as may from time to time be granted by the state government by way of pension, allowance and privileges in accordance with this law.”
Section 5 reads: “A person who has held office as Governor in accordance with Section 3 of this law shall be entitled to: (i) pension for life at a rate equivalent to the salary of the incumbent Governor. (ii) An official car with a police driver, two state security services agents, two armed policemen for the security of his house and provision of adequate security comprising, at least, two armed policemen for his person during his lifetime at the expense of the state government. (iii) allowances for a cook, steward, driver and gardener to be determined from time to time by government. (iv) provision of medical attention for his person subject to approval of the incumbent governor.”
The law is applicable to a democratically elected deputy governor of the state who has successfully completed his/her tenure.