The Federal Government on Monday agreed to pay a total of N88billion for the compensation of victims of the Nigeria/Biafra civil war, as well as for the reconstruction of areas destroyed by abandoned explosives within the South-East, South-South and North Central regions of the country.
The decision came after the ECOWAS community court of justice granted an out-of-court settlement application for a case involving the federal government and victims of the Nigerian civil war.
FG, in terms of agreement it endorsed before the ECOWAS Court in Abuja on Monday, said while it would pay N50billion compensation to “true victims” of the civil war that occured between 1967 and 1970, it said a total sum of N38billion will be paid to contractors for total and complete demining and destruction of abandoned bombs and landmines within the regions.
It is understood that 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.
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.
Part of the terms of the settlement stipulates that the federal government “undertakes to pay, without delay, compensation in the summer of N50 billion in full and final sum to the victims, their families and communities as contained in Schedule 4(1) to this terms of settlement”.
“That FG undetakes to the pay of a total sum of N38 billion as contained in schedule 4(2) to this terms of settlement for the purposes of carrying out total demining and destruction, rebuilding of public buildings, mine centre activities, construction of class rooms, provision of prosthetics and all other activities enumerated thereunder,” the court ruled.
“That the federal government undertakes to complete the demining and deconstruction of landmines and bombs in the Nigeria civil war affected states of south-east, south-south and part of the north-central of Nigeria covering eleven states as contained in schedule 1 to this terms of settlement.
“That the federal government undertakes to mobilise the 4th and 5th respondents back to work to complete the final phase of the ongoing removal and destruction of post-war lethal materials, the 4th and 5th respondents having satisfactorily carried out the first phase of the contract.”