Wednesday, November 1, 2017

N88bn Compensation To Victim of Biafra War:Anambra,Rivers Akwa Ibom ,Delta,Enugu,Ebonyi,Abia,Benue to Benefit

         Billedresultat for biafra war
Determined to quell rising agitation by secessionist groups, the Federal Government, yesterday, agreed to release N88 billion for the compensation of victims of the Nigeria/Biafra civil war, as well as for completion of demining and destruction of abandoned explosives within the South-East, South-South and North Central regions of the country.

Federal Government, in terms of agreement it endorsed before the ECOWAS Court in Abuja yesterday, said while it would pay N50 billion compensation to “true victims” of the civil war that occured between 1967 and 1970,  a total sum of N38 billion will be paid to contractors for total and complete demining and destruction of abandoned bombs and landmines within the regions.

The decision followed a suit marked ECW/CCJ/APP/06/12, which was filed before the ECOWAS Court on May 2, 2012, by one Vincent Agu and 19 others against FG and five others. Federal Government opted for an out-of-court settlement of the matter after four years negotiation period. According to the agreement document which the ECOWAS court adopted as its consent judgment, two firms, RSB Holdings Nigeria Limited and Deminers Concept Nigeria Limited, were said to have been contracted in 2009 to carry out demining exercise in the war affected areas. Federal Government told the court that after an exercise that was conducted by medical experts that were employed by the two contractors to screen and identify true victims of the war, 

“All the parties to this suit acknowledge that 685 persons were selected and classified as survivors while 493 of them were confirmed as victims of either landmines or other dangerous military ordinance including locally fabricated weapons, hence entitled to compensation including their families and communities. 
“Whereas the parties also acknowledged that a total of over 17, 000 bombs were recovered and destroyed by the 4th and 5th Respondents (the contractors), while a total of 1, 317 are still in the stockpile located at the Mine Action Center, Owerri, Imo State, a large quantity of live bombs still litter the Applicant’s communities.” States listed to benefit  from the deal are Anambra, Rivers, Imo, Akwa Ibom, Delta, Ebonyi, Cross River, Abia, Enugu and Benue. 
The plaintiffs had in the suit they filed for themselves and as representatives of victims of the Nigerian civil war, including all the 493 victims pre-enumerated by the Ministry of Defence, demanded N100m as compensatory and general damages. According to the terms of agreement sighted by Vanguard, while the N50bn compensation would be paid into United Bank for Africa, UBA, account No. 1018230076 which was nominated by counsel to the victims, Chief Noel Agwuocha Chukwukadibia & Co, the other N38bn woud be paid into Deminers Concept Nig. Ltd UBA account No. 1016296801, belonging to the contractors. Federal Government however maintained that the Terms of Settlement  shall operate as full and final  settlement of all claims arising from alleged violation of rights of victims of the Biafran war 
“in any other suits, action or matter however so called that may arise from this subject matter.” The Government said it agreed to release the funds, being conscious of unexploded bombs and other remnants of war that littered some parts of the South-East, South-South and North Central regions and the inherent dangers posed thereof. It said that it reviewed and took 
“full cognizance of the dire situation and unmitigated threat posed to the Applicants and their communities by aging bombs and other post war lethal materials left under the elements in public places like schools, churches, courts, farmlands and market places”, adding that it was agreed that the contractors, 
“having satisfactorily performed the 1st phase of the project be mobilised back to site to complete the final phase of the ongoing demining process.” Part of the 11 points resolution the ECOWAS court adopted as its judgment  on Monday  included: “That a Special Purpose Vehicle, SPV, comprising of all the necessary stakeholders shall be created for the implementation of the activities to ensure transparency and accountability. “That the Federal Republic of Nigeria undertakes to set up in the South-East, the National Mine Action Center in Owerri Imo State of Nigeria. “That every landmine, unexploded ordinance and explosive remnants of war discovered in the course of the jobs should be completely detroyed.
 “That the Federal Republic of Nigeria undertakes to rebiuld and or rehabilitate all public/private buildings already identified in the enumerated exercise by the war or used either as military facility or refugee camp during the war as contained in schedule 2 of this Terms of Settlement. “That the Federal Republic of Nigeria undertakes to construct one block of ten (10) classrooms for 50 communities presently barred from using their school facilities because of the presence of bombs and other post war relics; construction of court houses, churches and worship centers where explosive ordnance were found by the 4th and 5th Respondents. 
“That parties herein urge the honourable court to adopt as the consent judgment this Terms of Settlement in full and final settlement of this case.

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