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Abia Commissioner speaks on alleged arrest of pensioners in his office



Dr Aham Uko, the Abia State Commissioner for Finance, has reacted to a report making the rounds wherein he is accused of ordering the arrest of some pensioners in his office.

There was a report on Thursday that Police in Abia State arrested two pensioners in Umuahia for allegedly organising a protest against alleged state government’s failure to pay their pension arrears.

Names of the pensioners were given as Daniel Amugo and Chukwuemeka Augustus, the Chairman and Secretary of a group, called Abia State Concerned Pensioners.

The Vice-Chairman of the group, John Kalu, had told reporters that police arrested the two people after their meeting with the Commissioner for Finance, Dr Aham Uko, in his office.

The commissioner, in a statement to DAILY POST on Friday, however, denied holding any meeting with pensioners in his office.

His statement added, “My attention has been drawn to publications in a section of the media alleging that I met with a group of pensioners on Thursday, January 23, 2019, in my office, and subsequently invited security agents to arrest them.

“I wish to state, without fear of contradiction, that I did not meet with the said pensioners and never ordered the arrest of any of them.

“The story as published is false and malicious as I was involved in meetings outside my office on the said day and only read about the purported meeting with the pensioners from the media.

“It is important to point out that following the directive of Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, we have prioritized regular payment of pensioners to ensure that they receive their due along with other workers in the state every month.

“There is, therefore, no basis for me to order the arrest of any pensioner or any other law-abiding Abian for that matter.”

Meanwhile, the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, SP Geoffrey Ogbonna, said the pensioners were arrested for impersonating the leadership of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners in Abia.

Ogbonna said that the command received a petition accusing them of impersonation.

He said that the matter was being investigated, adding that the national leadership of NUP had disowned the protesters.