Fraud at NSPM Plc over late employee’s benefits

Fraud at NSPM Plc over late employee’s benefits

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An unwholesome drama of fraudulent handling of official documents, featuring a plot of deception and outright criminal connivance, is now playing out at the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Plc.
Our correspondent gathered exclusively that it had become the common practice amongst officials at the NSPM to attempt to deceive and cheat persons coming to claim the benefits of deceased staff as their next-of-kin.
A classic case is that of the late Mrs. Ruel Meslam Sarumi, which may soon become a subject of litigation, unless the management of the embattled NSPM takes an urgent action on the matter.
According to documents obtained by our correspondent, the late Mrs. Sarumi had, on 13th of September 2001, designated her husband, Oluwole. O. Sarumi, as her Next-of-Kin, with a share of 50 percent, while Seun O. Sarumi, the product of their marriage, is to benefit 50 percent, respectively.
The two nominees were reportedly appointed in the event of her death while in the service of the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Company Limited or before her claim upon the pension scheme shall be discharged.
According to records, Mrs. Sarumi, appointed the aforementioned as her Next-of-Kin pursuant to the rules of the Pension Scheme by declaring that the nomination shall operate as her Will regarding such amount.
However, the mother of one died on Tuesday, April, 5, 2011, and a letter of condolence, which was signed by one Mrs O. G. Igodan, General Manager, Management Services, on behalf of the Managing Director and Chief Executive, was conveyed to the husband. The letter partly reads, “Mrs. Ruel Mesllam Sarumi, was a staff of our company from 1st December,1987 to 5th April,2011. Untill her death , she worked in the Human Resources Department at Abuja Corporate Headquarters…”
However, shortly after her demise, one Pastor Benson M. Demsa, of Kerewa GRA Extension, Jimeta, Yola, Adamawa State, was said to have come forward with another letter, claiming that her late sister had, before her demise, nominated him and her only son, as the next-of-kin in her administrative form.
In the said letter, the pastor claimed that Master Oluwaseun O. Sarumi, the only son she left behind, was entitled to 80 percent of her pension and gratuity, while himself should go with the remaining 20 percent .This letter was dated 22nd January, 2010.
It was this second letter that the said Pastor Benson Demsa allegedly presented to the management of NSPMC Plc. and promptly collected the benefits due to her late sister without the knowledge of Master Oluwaseun Sarumi, the deceased’s only son.
Investigations revealed that the husband of the deceased got wind of the development as he reportedly raised various objections prior to the payment of his late wife’s benefits to Pastor Demsa.untitled “I wrote several letters and even made physical appearances in their Lagos office, in my capacity as the husband to the deceased , telling them that my son, Oluwaseun, has been in my custody before and after the death of his mother. I went to their Lagos office to register my suspicion about strangers masquerading as the Nextof- Kin to my late wife, to no avail.
“I was shocked to notice that NSPMC Plc. circumvented this process to benefit Pastor Benson Demsa, who is not the registered Next-of-Kin. It is my belief that the personnel records of late Mrs. Ruel Sarumi in their custody has been manipulated and tampered with to accomplish this diversion.
Mr. Sarumi, had in a letter to the Manager, Securities, Investigation Department, Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Company Plc, Ahmadu Bello Way Victoria Island, Lagos, alleged a case of fraud, bearing on, “Conspiracy, forgery and injustice in its handling of a matter concerning one master Oluwaseun Olumide Sarumi, who is the son of the late Mrs. Ruel Meslam Sarumi”.
However, Pastor Demsa, in a sworn affidavit maintained that he, “was invited to make documentation by the deceased’s last employers, including letter of Administration to access her death benefits in that capacity”.
At the Victoria Island, Lagos office of the Nigerian Printing and Minting Company Plc, our correspondent was shown a letter dated 18th February, 2015, indicating that the late Mrs. Sarumi appointed Master Oluwaseun Sarumi and Pastor Benson Demsa as her next-of- Kin.
The letter, which was signed by one Lawal Adamu, adds that, “All final entitlements/death benefits of late Mrs. Sarumi, were paid to her Retirement Savings Account with her pension Fund Administrator…”
Further checks by our correspondent revealed discrepancies in the documents that led to the approval of the final benefits of the late Mrs Sarumi amounting to over N20 million; more so that her unclaimed benefits, as contained in an internal memo, was paid in cash to Pastor Benson Demsa, who signed and collected a sum of N158,000 as Reverend Benson Demsa on 22nd September 2011.
It was also revealed, in the course of our correspondent’s investigation, that Master Oluwaseun Sarumi was never aware of what had become of his mother’s estate.
While one of the letters allowed Oluwole O. Sarumi and Oluwaseun Sarumi as the beneficiaries of the estate of the deceased woman, another document indicated Oluwaseun O Sarumi and Pastor Benson M.Demsa.
But our correspondent observed some discrepancies in the signatures on the documents.
Certainly, the last has not been heard of the story.

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