By Ibrahim Oyewale
Retired Judges in Kogi State have called on the state Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, to pay the pensions and gratuities of retired judicial officers in the state.
The former Grand Kadi of the state Sharia Court of Appeal, Justice Zakaria Idakwoji Mohammed, made this appeal while speaking at the special valedictory/court session in honour of the deceased and retired judicial officers of the state judiciary at premises of the High Court of Justice in Lokoja yesterday.
Justice Mohammed said he had retired from active service since 2018 and has not been paid his pension since then.
He explained that this was not peculiar to only judiciary staff but also others who have retired from service since last four years.
Mohammed noted that after meritorious service to the state, it is expected that pensions and gratuities should be promptly paid to cater for their needs.
He added that those who have died have also not been considered for payment, stressing that only the living that can benefit from pension and gratuity.
He therefore, appealed to the governor to as matter of urgency consider the retired judges and other judicial officers.
The Grand Kadi noted that the payment would help to alleviate their present suffering in the state.
“The governor should be magnanimous to pay our gratuities. This would go a long way to reduce the hardship faced by retired Judges and those that left their families behind after succumbing to death,” he lamented.
Meanwhile, the state judiciary has mourned the late Chief Judge of Kogi State, Hon. Justice Nasiru Ajanah.
At a valedictory court session, jurists took turns to eulogise the former CJ who died on June 28, 2020, after a brief illness
The court also honoured two other deceased former President of the state Customary Court of Appeal, Hon. Justice Ibrahim Atadoga Shaibu, who passed away on June 21, 2020, and a former Judge of the state High Court, Hon. Justice Zaccheaus Owonibi, who died on September 16, 2018.
In his farewell message, the acting Chief Judge of Kogi State, Hon. Justice Henry Olusiyi, described the deceased Judges as men of great character who no doubt, have left indelible footprints on the sands of time.
“Although we are greatly pained by their exits, we, nonetheless, give thanks to God for the times and seasons we spent together on this side of the great divine. It shall be well with every member of the families and all of us who they have left behind,” he added.