The Federal Government on Monday agreed to pay a total of N88bn for the complete destruction of the remnant of landmines and bombs used during the Nigerian Civil War, and for other purposes including compensation of the victims, and reconstruction of public buildings in some parts of the states affected by the war.
Of the N88bn, the sum of N50bn is for compensation of the victims while N38bn is for the purpose of destruction of the landmines and rebuilding of public buildings affected by the war which took place between 1967 and 1970, mainly in the South-East zone, and some parts of the South-South and North Central zones.
About 493 victims of the war were said to have been earlier enumerated.
The affected states are the five states in the South-East zone – Imo, Anambra, Abia, Ebonyi, and Enugu; four states in South-South – Akwa-Ibom, Rivers, Delta, Cross River; and one North Central state – Benue.
This agreement was part of the resolution reached by the Federal Government and other parties to a suit filed on behalf of the victims and adopted on Monday by the Community Court of the Economic Community of West African States in Abuja as its judgment.
The suit filed by 20 plaintiffs led by Vincent Agu on behalf of other victims and their communities was marked ECW/CCJ/APP/06/2012.
The suit is one of the three suits filed by the victims.
The six respondents to the suit which agreed to the consent judgment included the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and the two companies contracted by the Federal Government in 2009 to de-mine the affected areas – RSB Holdings Nigeria Limited and Deminers Concept Nigeria Limited.
Parties to the suit also agreed that the terms of settlement shall operate as “full and final settlement of all claims” arising from the suit marked: ECW/CCJ/APP/06/2012 and two other suits filed on the same issue.
The other suits covered by the agreement are, ECW/CCJ/APP/10/2014 (Dr. Sam Emeka Ukaegbu & 7 others v. President, FRN & 6 others) and ECW/CCJ/APP/11/2014 (Placid Ihekwoaba & 19 others v. President, FRN & 6 others).
By the judgment, the Federal Government is to pay the total sum of N88bn within 45 days from Monday.
The schedule to the judgment disclosed that the plaintiffs would be the beneficiaries of the N50bn compensation while the the two companies engaged for the destruction of the land mines would be the beneficiaries of the N38bn.