From Uche Usim, Abuja
Seventeen years after they were granted Presidential pardon, the Pensions Transition Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) yesterday disclosed plans to commence the payment of pension benefits to soldiers, paramilitary officers and policemen affected by the Nigerian civil war (1967-1970).
Spokesman of PTAD, Ema Okondo, who disclosed this yesterday, in Abuja, said: “Those to be paid are members of the Armed Forces, the Nigeria Police and the paramilitary officers who took part with the secessionists and were dismissed from the service.
“However, the dismissal of those officers was commuted to retirement in year 2000, through a Presidential Amnesty granted on May 29, 2000, by the administration of President Olusegun Obasanjo.
“The general public would recall that Nigeria witnessed an ugly civil war between July, 1967, and January, 1970,” Okondo said.
The PTAD spokesman added that a verification exercise was conducted for the pardoned officers by the defunct Police Pension Office and, recently, PTAD and the Police Service Commission (PSC) carried out a fresh biometric census of them.
“Despite the presidential pardon and verification of these officers, many of them remained unpaid years after the pardon.”