Nigeria Army has approved death benefits to the families of retired Nigerian military officers, including late head of state Sani Abacha.
A military memo seen by Peoples Gazette said Mr Abacha’s family members will receive benefits alongside 63 other families of fallen soldiers.
Mr Abacha led a brutal junta that ruled Nigeria from 1994 until his death in 1998. Nigeria subsequently returned to civilian rule in 1999, ending 16 years of military rule that began when Muhammadu Buhari seized power from a democratically elected President Shehu Shagari in 1983.
Following Mr Abacha’s family, the Nigerian government uncovered billions of dollars lodged in foreign banks in Switzerland, the United States and other notorious tax heavens. While billions have been recovered from the loot, a significant amount remained trapped abroad and has yet to be repatriated to Nigeria.
The memo (marked AHQ DOAA/G1/300/167 and dated July 29, 2021, referenced a previous approval of a panel that looked into the matter and marked HQ CAR/G1/300/6/2 on dated July 25, 2021) said the families have been unable to receive their benefits because of a slew of delays that included failures of next of kins to file appropriate papers to meet processing requirements of the military.
“Consequent upon the above, I am directed to forward at Annex A above named deceased very senior officer and 63 others whose death benefits are yet to be processed for payments to their beneficiaries,” the memo said.
The military, therefore, asked family members to forward the following documents to HQ CAR in other to expedite the process of paying the death benefits:
a. Condolence letter (three copies)
b. NOTICAS letter (three copies)
c. Sworn in affidavit (three copies)
d. Declaration as to NOK (three copies)
e. Death certificate (three copies)
f. Passport photograph of NOK (three copies)
g. Part 2 orders (three copies)
h. Introduction letter from unit (one copy each).