IBTC Pension Managers has been named in an alleged unwholesome handling of the pension benefits of a deceased staff of the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Plc., Mrs. Ruel Meslam Sarumi, our correspondent has learnt.
It was gathered that IBTC Pension Managers was chosen to handle the pension of the late employee of the NSPM Plc. whose son, Oluwaseun Olumide Sarumi, was her next-ofkin.
The bank is alleged to have gone ahead to pay the pension to an unauthorised person without the knowledge of the nominee beneficiary, even when a formal letter had been written to the pension outfit to the contrary.
IBTC Pension Managers, it was learnt, had in one of its correspondences, directed Mr. Oluwole Sarumi, husband to the deceased person, to produce letters of administration in respect of the deceased’s estate and even provided official guidelines issued by the National Pension Commission in respect of death benefit applications.
In a document signed by the duo of Busayo Adefokun, Head, Client Communication, and one Bolanle Shobowale, Head Client Services Group, a copy of which was made available to our correspondent, the pension managers said, “We assure you that upon receipt of the aforementioned approval from our regulator, we shall proceed to remit the balance in the deceased client’s RSA to the appointed Administrator of the deceased’s Estate…”
It was further learnt that because it had become a “standard practice” for both the IBTC Pension Managers and the management of the NSPMC to deceive their victims, most especially in matters relating to the payment of benefits to the next-of-kin of a deceased person, they now resort to a blame game.
The Point had earlier broken the story about the late Mrs. Ruel Meslam Sarumi’s Estate, which may soon become a subject of litigation, unless the management of the troubled NSPM Plc. takes a decisive and quick action about it.
According to documents made available to our correspondent, the late Mrs. Ruel M. Sarumi, had on the 13th of September 2001, designated her next-of-kin as Oluwole O . Sarumi, her husband, who was to have a share of 50 percent, while Seun O. Sarumi, the product of the marriage between the couple, was to benefit 50 percent, respectively. The 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 as far as regards such amount.
However, the mother of one died on Tuesday, 5th April, 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 read, “Mrs. Ruel Mesllam Sarumi was a staff of our company from 1st December 1987 to 5thApril 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 armed himself with another letter, purporting that her late sister had before her demise, nominated him and her only son as the next-of-kin in her administrative form.
I was shocked to notIce that nsPMc Plc. cIrcuMvented thIs Process to benefIt Pastor benson deMsa, who Is not the regIstered next-of-kIn
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 with20 percent .This letter is dated 22nd January 2010.
It was this second letter that the said Pastor Benson Demsa presented to the management of NSPMC Plc. and collected the benefits of his late sister without the knowledge of Master Oluwaseun Sarumi.
Investigations revealed that the father of the said Oluwaseun got wind of the development as he reportedly raised various objections with the NSPMC Plc, prior to the payment of his wife’s pension benefits to the pastor.
”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 next-of-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 bordering 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 Benson Meslam Demsa, in a sworn in affidavit, maintained that he was, “invited to make documentation by the deceased’s last employer, including letter of Administration to access her death benefits in that capacity”.
At the Victoria Island office of the Nigerian Printing and Minting Company Plc, our correspondent was shown a letter dated 18thFebruary 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, added 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 inconsistencies in the documents that led to the approval of the final benefits of the late Mrs Sarumi, especially that, “her unclaimed payments as contained in an Internal Memo was paid in cash to Pastor Benson Demsa, whosigned and collected a sum of N158, 000= as Reverend Benson Demas on 22nd September, 2011.”
It was also revealed, in the course of our investigation, that Master Oluwaseun Sarumi was not aware of what had happened to her mother’s Estate and did not benefit from it.
While one of the letters allowed Oluwole. O. Sarumi and Oluwaseun. O. Sarumi as the beneficiaries of the Estate of the deceased woman, another set of documents, alleged to be full of contradictions, indicated Oluwaseun .O. Sarumi and Pastor Benson M. Demsa as the people entitled to the late woman’s pension benefits.