The Nigeria Police Force, on Tuesday, Sept. 26, presented cheques totalling ₦1.3 billion to 420 families of police officers who lost their lives in active service.
The presentation was done by the Acting Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Olukayode Egbetokun, at the IGP conference hall of the Police Force Headquarters in Abuja.
According to Egbetokun, the cheques were for the 2021/2022 and 2022/2023 policy years under the Group Life Assurance policy of the police. It also encompassed the IGP’s Family Welfare Insurance Scheme.
“The IGP Family Welfare Insurance Scheme, being funded by the Nigeria Police Force, was established in 2017. The idea is to relieve the hardship faced by the deceased’s immediate family before their death benefits are ready for payment.
“Our commitment to prompt fulfilment of our obligations, including the provision of insurance and other benefits to our officers and their families who have made significant sacrifices is an expression of appreciation,” the police boss said.
Egbetokun added that his leadership would enhance welfare packages for all members of the police family, irrespective of their status and also create an environment where every officer feels valued, protected, and motivated to deliver his or her utmost in the service of the nation.
Although guidelines on the administration of police officers’ pensions provide that death benefits should be paid to the Next of Kins (NOKs) of officers who die in active service, the rule is silent on how long the process should take.
This often makes it difficult to hold relevant parties accountable as relatives of slain officers live in hardship months or years after completing the process.
When contacted, Elizabeth Joseph, widow of late Sergeant Kombe Joseph who was killed on Feb. 5, 2021, in Imo confirmed to us she’s one of the over 400 families that got a cheque from the IGP on Tuesday.
“While the money will not bring my husband, it shows that the current leadership is concerned about our late husbands and the families they left behind,” she said.
As part of efforts to demand adequate welfare for police officers, HumAngle in May published a report on how the major actors in the criminal justice system have been left to suffer in decaying barracks as police authorities failed to build new barracks or properly renovate existing ones.
While officers go out every morning with rifles to enforce laws, they return to dilapidated homes at night.
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