The Muhammadu Buhari led federal government will be spending N88bn to completely destroy leftover landmines and bombs used during the Nigerian Civil War as well as compensating victims and reconstructing public buildings in some parts of the states affected by the war.
It earmarked N50bn of the budget for compensation of the victims, and the remainder N38bn of the budget for the ammunition destruction, rehabilitation of public buildings affected by the war of 30 months between 1967 and 1970.
The structure rehabilitation would be mainly in the South-East zone, and some parts of the South-South and North Central zones.
Prior to this decision, the government said it had got a data of 493 victims of the war for the compensation although the criteria for the enumeration that gave rise to the number is not known.
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.
The federal government is to pay the total 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.