Sunday Ige, an ex-serviceman in the Mobile Unit of the Nigeria Police Force, in Ondo State, has cried out for help following an “eviction notice” served on him by the Nigerian Government, at his current apartment.
Ige, who is currently occupying a unit of one-bedroom at the Federal Housing Estate, Shagari area of Akure, had earlier been given two weeks to move out of the house.
The ultimatum expired last Friday.
The 57-year-old former police officer was served the notice by the Office of the Implementation Committee according to the White Paper on the Commission of Enquiry into the Alienation of Federal Government Landed Property of the Presidency.
Enlisted in the Nigeria Police in 1991, Mr. Ige was posted to Ekiti State after his mandatory training and was later moved out, and transferred to Ondo State where he was mobilised to the Mobile Unit of the Force in 1993.
While serving in Akure, he was allocated the housing unit as a mobile policeman like his other colleagues, before he was posted to Lagos State in 2001 for a “special duty”.
According to him, during his official duty in Lagos, he lost his right leg in a fatal car accident and had a spinal cord injury the same year he was posted to the state.
The situation degenerated into a terrible health condition as he could no longer walk nor stand thereby he was disengaged from the service in 2006.
Speaking in an interview, Mr. Ige said that shortly after his disengagement from the police, the Nigerian Government sold the housing unit to him for N1.25 million (One million, two hundred and fifty thousand naira).
He explained that he was asked to make an initial payment of N125,000 which is 10 percent of the total amount of money to be paid for the house.
The former mobile policeman said he paid the first tranche of the fund to acquire the house from the N250,000 (Two hundred and fifty thousand naira) he had received from the police as his gratuity.
He noted that he could no longer pay up the balance due to his health condition after he was sacked from the police service.
He said, “I was enlisted into the Nigeria Police Force in September 1991 and I passed out from the training school, Iperu in 1992, and after the training, I was posted to Ijero-Ekiti, Ekiti State while in 1993, I was mobilised to the Nigeria Mobile Force, Akure.
“On January 16, 2001, I was posted for special duty in Lagos and I was attached to the Itire Police Station where I was knocked down by a vehicle while on duty.
“When the accident occurred, I was rushed to the General Hospital, Ikeja and I was later moved to a private hospital.
“When my situation could not be handled at both the general and private hospitals, I was moved to Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital (OAUTH), Ile-Ife in Osun state.
“At Ife (OAUTH), my leg was amputated and it was later discovered that I had a spinal cord injury, which has made mobility to be difficult for me.
“I was discharged from OAUTH in November 2001. Then, all the medical expenses were over N1 million and were paid by me.
“The police did not assist me to pay a single kobo out of the entire medical bill. I paid with the little I had as well as with the assistance of my family; my parents died on this matter.
“On December 31, 2006, I was retrenched as a Corporal from the Nigeria Police and my salary was immediately stopped.
“In 2009, the police authority paid me N225,000 as my gratuity with my pension pegged at N5,000 monthly. Later it was increased to N8,000 but with the minimum wage, I now receive N16,000 as monthly pension.
“In 2003, the house was allocated to me while I was in service, and in 2007, the federal housing said that it wanted to dispose of the houses at the rate of N1, 250,000 million. We were told to pay 10 percent first. I picked up interest and I paid to buy the house. I have been living there since.
“Since then, I have not been able to raise the balance because of my condition. Just last week, the ministry brought an eviction letter that I should pack out of the house. If I am evicted from this house, I have nowhere to go, that is the end of me because of my condition.”
“I have no wife because when the accident happened, I had yet to get married. It was the child I had when I was in secondary school that has been taking care of me since,” he added.
While appealing to the government and well-meaning Nigerians to help him out of his predicament, Mr. Ige declared that he has no place to stay if he is sent packing from the house.
“I beg the government and well-meaning individuals to come to my aid in the name of God. There is nowhere for me to go and there is no way I can raise the money.
“My friends are the ones who have been feeding me and buying my drugs and rendering other assistance for the past 21 years. The government should please assist me.”
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