Police officers who served in the defunct Biafran Police during the 30 months Civil War can now smile to the banks, as President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the payment of pension to those who were granted presidential pardon in 2000.
The Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) yesterday announced that about 162 of such retired police officers and 57 next of kin of those who died will be paid their pension benefits in the first phase of the payment with effect from tomorrow in Enugu.
A statement from the PTAD management said after their pardon, a verification exercise was conducted for them by the defunct Police Pension office and recently by PTAD and the Police Service Commission.
The statement reads: “The general public would recall that Nigeria witnessed an ugly Civil War between July, 1967 and January, 1970 and as a result of that unfortunate period in our history, some members of the Armed Forces, the Nigeria Police and paramilitary officers who took part with the secessionist were dismissed from the service.
“The dismissal of those officers was commuted to retirement in the year 2000 through a Presidential Amnesty granted on May 29, 2000 by the Administration of the then President, Olusegun Obasanjo.
“A verification exercise was conducted for the pardoned officers by the defunct Police Pension Office and recently PTAD on one hand and the Police Service Commission on the other.
“Despite the presidential pardon and verification of these officers, many of them remained unpaid years after the pardon. However, the present administration under the able leadership of President, Muhammadu Buhari has graciously given approval for the payment of pension entitlements to these officers and their next of kin.”