The Economic Community of West African States Community Court, has ordered the Federal Government of Nigeria to pay a total of N88bn to the victims of Biafra war.
The court in its sitting on Monday, granted an out-of-court settlement application in the case involving the federal government and the victims of the war.
Recall that on October 24, counsel to both parties filed an application for out-of-court settlement, on the ground that they had reached agreeable terms.
The victims also asked the court to compel the government to rehabilitate the affected areas and compensate them for the damages done. The court granted the application, ordering the parties to abide by the terms of the settlement.
Part of the terms of the settlement made available to newsmen 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.”
The terms of settlement, which was signed on behalf of applicants, by Noel Chukwukadibia, gave the federal government “a reasonable time not exceeding 45 days from the day of his judgement.”
The presiding judge Nwoke Chijioke, in his ruling said “The terms of settlement filed on 24th October, 2017 is hereby adopted as the judgement of this court in terms and conditions set out in the terms of settlement.”
The terms of settlement, which was signed by Noel Chukwukadibia on behalf of the victims, gave the federal government “a reasonable time not exceeding 45 days from the day of his judgement.”
Justice Chijioke, commended the parties for reaching an out-of-court settlement, saying such means usually “saves time provided all interest are represented”.
According to court documents, there are 302 affected locations across 10 states where the instruments are buried.
The states are Benue, Enugu, Abia, Cross River, Ebonyi and Delta, Akwa Ibom, Rivers, Anambra and Imo states.