The Guardian
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Pay my husband’s entitlement, widow tells firm


WIfe of the late Captain Isele Tewei Ogorye, Mrs. Chinyere Isele, has cried out over the non-payment of her late husband’s insurance by a shipping firm, Greataf Trading Company Limited, which has lingered for more than four years.

Mrs. Isele told The Guardian how her late husband, a ship captain for the firm, had obtained a fracture as a result of a fall while on duty, which led to his untimely death on June 29, 2012.

She said she was paid N1.2million and was later paid N96, 000 by Greataf, which according to the widow, was not enough, considering the position her husband occupied in the firm as a captain.

“I was not given the terms of employment as everything was given to my in-laws, which made me handicapped,” she said.

In a bid to get the insurance, she met with Human Resources Manager of Greataf, Mr. Morah Ejike, who referred her to Zenith Bank Insurance.

On getting to Zenith Bank Insurance, which acted as a broker, Zenith wrote letters and pleading with the company to pay up. That did not happen. Through the company, she found out that her husband was a member of the Protection and Indemnity Insurance known as the P&1 Club, which was to pay her the insurance. She began to demand the payment of the insurance claims.

According to her, some individuals in Greataf allegedly frustrated all efforts to get P&I to pay.

Worried by the turn up of events, the widow then lodged a complaint at the Nigerian Maritime Administrative And Safety Agency (NIMASA), the agency regulating maritime industry in Nigeria.

The agency acted on her behalf by sending letters and also organised a meeting between her and her late husband’s company. According to her, the company was given three months to pay the insurance claim but they failed to do so.

After much pressure from the agency, she said the company decided to pay her off with N500, 000 in order to close the case. But she rejected the offer on the ground that it is too paltry.

However, the Human Resource Manager of Greataf, Mr. Ejike told The Guardian that the late Captain Isele didn’t die as a result of the fracture he sustained while on duty.

He said: “Captain Isele was hospitalised on June 20 and was discharged on June 22, 2012 to come for review on June 23, which he did.

“He was also given a one -week sick leave for further treatment but the deceased never returned as we heard that his health condition worsened. Delegates from the company sent to check on the deceased were denied access to him.

“His wife did not report to the company her husband’s state of health. As a result, the company decided to act as though nothing happened and completely handed off since there was no official report.”

He, therefore, denied that the deceased qualified for any insurance entitlement.

All the monies given to her, he said, were given on compassionate grounds, since the late captain didn’t die as a result of the fracture suffered on the course of duty.

He added that since the wife allegedly didn’t carry the company along during the time the deceased developed complications that led to his death, the company was not liable to pay her line of-duty-death claims.

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