Mallam Abubakar Garba, a pensioner in Bauchi State, who returned N1m excess gratuity paid to him, said his action was informed by his fear of God.

It was recalled that Garba, aged 71, a Motor Chief Driver with the Bauchi State Judiciary who retired in 2011, was on August 5, erroneously paid N1.2m as balance of his gratuity, instead of N200,000.

In an exclusive interview with NAN in Bauchi on Monday, the retiree said he never “thought twice” before returning the cheque.

“My entitlement was N1.2m but I had been paid N1m some years back, leaving a balance of N200,000.

“When the new regime decided to settle arrears of pension and I was lucky to be considered, I was given a cheque of N1.2m again.

“I did not realise the mistake until I went to the bank and started filling the teller to lodge the money into my account. I promptly returned the cheque to the members of the committee,” he explained.

“As I am talking to you now, I need N1.5m to complete my house; I need N300,000 to resuscitate my car that had been grounded for two years,” said Garba, who has one wife and seven children.