Some retired judges in Ondo State have dragged Governor Olusegun Mimiko before the National Industrial Court for failing to pay their retirement benefits since 2007.
Also joined in the suit are the Ondo State Pension Board and the state Attorney General, Eyitayo Jegede.
The retired judges prayed the court to direct the defendants to pay them upward review by 96 percent of their monthly pension from February, 2007 in line with circulars issued in 2010 and 2015 by the National Judicial Council.
They listed some of the retirement benefits as accommodation, four official domestic staff, medical care, and serviceable vehicles, among others.
In a suit filed by their counsel, Adetoye Ojopagogo, the former judges also sought an order of the Industrial Court compelling the state government and its officials to review and harmonize their pension benefits every five years from 2000 till date in conformity with section 210 subsection 2 and 3 of the 1999 Constitution.
“An order directing the defendants to grant and pay the plaintiffs/Claimants severally, the upward review by 96% of their respective monthly pensions with effect from the 1st day of February, 2007 up to the final payments, and henceforth for each month thereafter authorized adopting by the National Judicial Council’s Circular Ref No: NJC/CIR/HOC/1/39 of the 7th October, 2010, and Circular No: NJC/CIR/HOC/1/2734 of the Council of 16th November, 2015, ” the suit reads in part.
Speaking on behalf of the plaintiffs, retired Justice Adeyemo Arona, lamented that six of the retired judges, including late Justice Rasheed Fawehinmi, died while struggling and waiting to receive their benefits from the government.
Mr. Afonja said he and his colleagues took the matter to court after all efforts to appeal to Mr. Mimiko to pay their retirement entitlements had failed including sending some first class monarchs and eminent indigenes of the state to beg him.