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Feb 9, 2024

Disgruntled Widower Sues Former Attorney Over S.S.B. Settlement

When Jane Ifeanyichineke died of stage four colon cancer a few years ago, her husband applied to the Social Security Board for widower’s pension, believing that he was eligible to collect those benefits.  His application was denied and he subsequently sought the counsel of attorney Orson Elrington in a claim against the S.S.B.  According to Dozieh Ifeanyichineke, he hired a lawyer to pursue the matter with a view to collect what was due to him under the Benefits Regulations.  But instead of resolving the matter in the court, a settlement was reached between the Social Security Board and the widower’s lawyer, one that he says he never agreed to.  Ifeanyichineke also contends that the sum that was settled upon was far below what he could have received had they taken the matter to court.  Tonight, he is suing Elrington & Company.  Here is what the disgruntled widower explained to News Five happened when S.S.B. deposited the settlement funds into his lawyer’s account.


Dozieh Ifeanyichineke

Dozieh Ifeanyichineke, Disgruntled Widower

“On March 22nd, 2022, I submitted a letter of application to the Social Security Board for my wife’s pension to assist us in these, to put it in street language, hard times, tough economic times.  On April twenty-ninth, I received a letter from the Social Security Board denying me of my claim. Being convinced, based on my conviction and the legal opinions that I received, I made the decision to challenge the decision of the Social Security Board at the Supreme Court of Belize.  That was a decision that I took.  And then on May 17th, 2022, I obtained the legal of services of a Belize City attorney to represent me at the Supreme Court in my case against the Social Security Board.  What he did was that in that conversation, he explained the provisions of the SSB Act unlawfully discriminates against me because of my sex which is a violation of my rights under Section 16 of the Constitution of Belize.  We all know the constitution is the highest law in the land.  I think we all know that.  Now having explained what my options are he asked what recourse I would take.  I explicitly, there was no if and but, I explicitly instructed him to file a constitutional lawsuit at the Supreme Court against the Social Security Board.  In that way, by way of a legal victory, I would then seek relief in respect of my wife‘s pension and vindicatory damages. It was on October 18th, 2023, at about 2:24 p.m., I received a telephone call from the attorney informing me that he accepted the settlement from the Social Security Board.  To be honest with you, when he mentioned that I had absolutely no idea what he was talking about.”


Isani Cayetano

“Kindly pause for a minute and let me ask you the following question.  When you said he received the settlement, what quantum are we looking at?  What are we talking about in terms of the actual dollar amount?”


Dozieh Ifeanyichineke

“Well what I saw was a draft and I want to emphasize that it was a draft, that’s just it, a draft, and on it was written forty-six thousand, five hundred, eighty-eight dollars.  That was what I was shown on a draft.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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