47 years after Biafra civil war, Nigerian govt agrees to pay victims N88 billion

pro-biafra-protesters-690x450
Pro-Biafra protesters [Photo: TodayNG]

About 47 years after the Nigeria civil war ended on ‘No victor, no vanquish’ terms, the federal government on Monday agreed to pay victims of the war N88 billion compensation for their losses.

A breakdown of the compensation adopted by the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice as consent judgment for government and the victims showed that N50 billion will go direct to the victims of the war in eleven affected states in the South-east, South-south and part of North-central regions, while the remaining N38 billion will go for the evacuation of abandoned bombs and other lethal weapons and construction of schools, courts, churches and mosques among others in the affected areas.

In the consent judgment read by Justice Friday Nwoke, the federal government is expected to pay the N50 billion into the United Bank of Africa, UBA, account with number 1018230076 belonging to Noel Chukwukadibia, the nominated counsel for the war victims, and another N38 billion to be paid into another UBA account with number 1016296801 belonging to Deminers Concept Nigeria Limited for RSB Holdings Nigeria Ltd and Deminers Concept Nigeria Ltd who are expected to evacuate all the abandoned bombs and other dangerous weapons in the farmlands, schools, churches and mosque of the war victims and to also carry out construction works.

Besides, the federal government will by the consent judgment establish a National Mine Action Centre in Owerri, Imo State for victims in the South-east region.

In order to ensure transparency and accountability, the federal government will also set up a Special Purpose Vehicle that will comprise of all necessary stakeholders in the terms of settlement.

The consent judgment further indicated that medical experts employed on behalf of the federal government to screen and identify true victims of the war, acknowledged that 685 persons were selected and classified as survivors while 493 of them including those who sued the federal government were confirmed as victims of either landmines or other dangerous military ordinance including locally fabricated weapons and confirmed to be entitled to compensation.

The consent judgment further acknowledged that a total of 17,000 bombs were recovered in the war ravaged communities and destroyed by RSB Holdings Ltd and Deminers Concept Nigeria Ltd, while a total of 1,317 bombs are still in the stockpile located at the Mine Action Centre, Owerri, Imo State in addition to large quantities of live bombs that still litter in communities of the war victims.

It further indicated that the federal government as part of its responsibility undertook to remove and destroy without further delay all the stockpile bombs at the Nigerian Mine Action Centre located at plot 108, Ndubuisi Kanu Street, New Owerri, Imo State.

Parties, according to the consent judgment, agreed that for the war victims, apart from their direct physical injuries, their families and community at large have been deprived of the use of their farmland since the civil war hostilities ended in 1970, hence the agreement to clear the war affected areas of the post war ordinances.

It was also agreed that RSB Holdings Nigeria Ltd and Deminers Concept Nigeria Ltd having satisfactorily performed the first phase of clearing and destroying the post war bombs should be mobilized back to site to complete the final phase of the ongoing demining process.

The representatives of the victims of the Nigerian civil war, including the 493 victims prey enumerated by the Federal Ministry of Defence had through their agents, Vincent Agu and 19 others, dragged the federal government before the ECOWAS court demanding N100 billion and another order of the court compelling government to clear and destroy all by post-civil war bombs and other dangerous weapons of war abandoned in their various communities and farmland since 1970.

The plaintiffs claimed that apart from physical injuries, the abandonment of the war weapons has deprived them of the use of their farmlands, schools and churches, hence their demands for compensation.

Though the suit was filed at the regional court in 2012, the federal government opted for out of court settlement with the war victims prompting the court to adopt the terms of settlement by government and the war victims as consent judgment delivered on Monday.

Key signatories to the terms of settlement are: Noel Chukqukadibia and Alex Williams for the applicants, Femi Falana, Sola Egbeyinka, Charles Uhegbu and Solomon Chukwuocha for government and its agencies, while Charles Onuoha and Alams Chukquemeka signed for the stakeholders.


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  • soulchild

    Let the chopping begin!!!

  • TAWANDA INCOMMUNICADO

    ALL HAIL BIAFRA !!

    • Screw-em

      Scammers!!!!…..lol

      • TAWANDA INCOMMUNICADO

        Please pay us our due monies.

  • Henry M

    Something is fishy here. Ah ah! 47 years later, you still have unexploded landmines? And why the haste in making payments? What happened to the appeal process? How will the beneficiaries be identified ? What is the criteria for awarding payouts? Something is just not right.

    • Man_Enough

      Read again with open mind. The victims (who sought redress in the first place) have already been identified confirmed and enumerated. The mines location are known and finally it is an out of court settlement brochered by eminent personalies. Even world war 2 mines are still live in some spots.

      • Henry M

        OK. Carry go! Makes sense if victims are enumerated and mines located..

      • Okokondem

        Ok, before we get carried away with nuances here let’s focus on the headline and the first paragraph of this report which clearly states that victims, didn’t say some victims or any category of victims, simply victims of the civil war are being compensated by the Nigerian government. The preceding explanations and details simply addressed who was involved in seeking the settlement and the processes involved.

        • So oju abe niko

          The headline and the first paragraph are not quite accurate. This is strictly payment for the government negligence in not clearing landmines properly after taking back the south east in 1970. This is not a payment for Biafra war victims. Nigeria has not admitted any guilt, and will not admit any guilt because Nigeraria is simply not guilty for the Biafra war. Besides, Nigeria won- “no victor no vanguish” was just a gallant slogan to help the vanguished psychologically. We can look at specific events of the was like the massacre in Asaba, and agree on some kind of psychological compensation for the communities. There were atrocities on both sides throughout the war; each side committed atrocities according to its capacity, which was why the atrocities on the federal side was more.

      • Mufu Ola

        U see, the Biafrans are already confusing themselves! Somebody is even questioning north central inclusion.What about Benue State where d war reportedly started via Nsukka? Lots of ignorants! Nothing will ever satisfy ’em.

        • Okokondem

          You are here on just about any topic to do one thing and one thing only, expose your small mindedness and inherent resentment and loathing of the Igbos, and I would be surprised to hear otherwise.

        • Okokondem

          Benue state was used as a launchpad by the Nigerian government to attack the Igbos beginning at Nsukka. The war wasn’t fought in Benue state rather in Nsukka and onwards to the rest of Igbo land.

      • So oju abe niko

        Actually, live bombs from WW-1 (1914-1918) still turn up from time to time.

    • The Optimist

      Don’t mind them! It is all FRAUD!

  • Okokondem

    I’m still trying to digest this report with a view to understanding what it all means. However, on the surface, there appears to be some confusions regarding who stands to benefit from the payment which I’m still not sure whether or not to call reparations.

    “…consent judgment for government and the victims showed that N50 billion will go direct to the victims of the war in eleven affected states in the South-east, South-south and part of North-central regions,..”

    North-central regions? Really? The civil war was fought primarily in the area currently known as SE geopolitical zone, and a preponderance of the devastation, death and mayhem from the war was suffered by the Igbo population in what is known today as SE. Widening the scope of beneficiaries to include people in states that didn’t suffer the brunt of the hardship is just yet another way of inflicting pain to the SE.

    And lastly, what’s the criteria for identifying the ‘victims’ of the civil war because everyone who was in Biafra between 1967 and 1970 and beyond was without any doubt a victim of the civil war. 88 billion naira is simply laughable to say the least.

    • So oju abe niko

      I’m not a lawyer and I think you are right in been very cautious. This is DEFINITELY not a reparation for the war. This as far as I can see is compensation to victims of accidents from previously unexploded bombs, and compensations to the owners of unusable farmlands on accounts of mines. Federal government took back responsibility for south east after the war and is responsible for clearing live bombs from the environment, which it failed to do properly. This compensation is therefore for the war after-effects, and not for the war itself. To pay compensation for the war would mean Nigeria is at fault, and hell would freeze over before that happens.

  • uche

    biafra need not such…….will dis allievate the sufferings of the pple? will it increase the standard of living of the masses? will it stop the agitations? does the FG know these victims (as the war affected all eastern persons as at that time) will the money get to alll? just one of them Govt Magic

    • Okokondem

      That’s the point. You have here a list of some Igbo individuals seeking to benefit from the sufferings endured by millions of Ndigbo 50 years ago, whose descendants are still being made to suffer today. When you read this headline and the first paragraph of the report the takeaway is people who suffered and died as a result of the civil war, (arguably the Igbos) are being compensated. My initial outrage reading the headline was why only a miserly 88 billion naira.

  • Decimator

    A fact finding mission on what happened in Biafra could have just been the simple start.
    I hope this is not a fast way of trying to wash ones hand clean, on the part of the perpetrators of war crimes in Biafra.

  • curseless

    My prayer is that the true victims of this unfortunate moment in our country’s history will not end up with the short end of the stick. No amount of money given can palliate the human suffering particularly in the war theater which happens to be the eastern Nigeria, but there is some comfort in knowing that as a people we are confronting demons for once. This is not time to be apportioning blame because there are blames to go around. This is the time to face the future and do the right thing. Those who have waited this long to obtain due justice should not be shafted again by wolves lying in wait

  • An’ Ob

    What is N88b shared with hausa. For this is rubbish.

  • Screw-em

    Not one kobo should be paid out to these scammers. You lose a war you started and have the nerve to demand to be compensated for your losses.?….ewo, Deri, see wetin dey want use your oyel money do?…..lol

    • Höly Wähala

      Hahahahahahaaa… Go and jump into two lagoons, Lagos has one, try Ogun River. I hope you die of heart attack, account numbers have been excahnged and kudi don move into Igbo Hands, lol… again, Go & Die!

      • Screw-em

        I swear Wahala, carry your troubles to Deri. This judgement will be appealed to the highest court in biafraud land. No compensation, l will personally cancelled the signatories to those accounts even if l have to turn to ” Rambo”…..lol

        • Höly Wähala

          Lol@ “carry your troubles to Deri.”
          Which judgement in the History of Nigeria do you know that was not appealed, come to think of it? Obviously, you did not understand what you read, this story says the Nigerian Govt. “opted for out of court settlement” at the ECOWAS Court. Translation: You do not appeal against what you bargined for. Alternatively, you cannot appeal against an agreement you entered into in good faith. Now, Lol! “Thinking is not for everyone, some people must be banned from thinking… you qualify!” – Höly Wähala (Lol!)

          • Screw-em

            Foreign court judgement honored by the Nigerian government?….l go die ooh For where, una go wait till eternity. The funds is not yet appropriated by NASS. With Afonja Saraki in charge, you might as well tell Elumelu and Ekweremadu not to count their chickens yet ….lol

        • Kay Soyemi (Esq.)

          Screw-em, it’s a negotiated settlement.

          It won’t be taken through the legal system anymore, unless the FGN defaults on the settlement terms.

    • Kay Soyemi (Esq.)

      Bruv, I have no objection to this. It is no different to the North East development.

      In principle, this is payment that should have been made decades ago.

  • Höly Wähala

    Effects and fruits of IPOB agitation but, it maybe too little, too late. I hope someone shows this piece of news to @Dele Awobeoloshi, that bitter Igbo hater will surely develope high blood pressure when he reads this news of compensation for Awoloshi’s evil war policies… It is now left for the victims’ lawyers to file post-humous Crimes Against Humanity criminal charges against the Nigeria Govt. with Obafraud Awoloshi prominently mentioned as co-defendant, oloshi ni won. This Money is “chomp change” compared to the millions of lives lost during that pogrom but… it is timely, good healing move… Kudos! Buhari.

    • Olusola

      We never had an issue with all these,but some years later you will not hate PMB and start deriding the 88Billion as peanut. Whatever makes you happy, makes us happy! The case had been in the court for long, so leave IPOB out of it.

  • Chukwuka Okoroafor

    This would be good but my problem is that this came from a foreign court. Even if it is an ECOWAS court, it is still a foreign court. It is desirable to pay out compensation from the war (although this can lead to more agitations for compensation from other sections of the country), but why not a Nigerian court to make the judgement? It is as if the regional body is becoming our government.

  • The Optimist

    Which Victims? The dead? Which mines are there again? Where is the evidence of those claimed to have been cleared? This kangaroo arrangee judgement is only setting money aside for them to corner ahead of 2019.

  • Don_C

    Which victims? the ones they killed or the living? Nigerian government is huge jok. Nobody wants thheit money, but instead allow Biafra to exist even if it is within the context of Nigeria such that they conduct their own elections, have their own currencies and control their own borders. This is very simple to do instead of the idea od making them slaves like the Fulanis made the Hausas.

  • PureWater1985

    Take that money and rebuild major roads in SE and some parts of SS affected by the war, then build water treatment plants, renovate public schools, rebuild and equip health centers and hospitals etc etc, there are so many ways to utilize the funds in question instead of paying it in a fraudulent company account owned by corrupt politicians and government officials. Let me ask which mines are they clearing in SE and which bomb are they evacuating??

    • GusO

      But the money was or will be paid into individual accounts of lawyers. Let’s hope the money will reach the causes for which it was given.

      • PureWater1985

        Let’s hope they don’t divert the said funds for personal use.

  • Ola

    Buhari is just using the Igbos as a tool to raise money for his second term ambition.

  • KELLOGGS

    Some questions: Where are the missing Shiites, and the missing Igbos? Who has been killed extra-judicially? Who is buried in mass graves? Where are Nnamdi Kalu and his parents, and other IPOB members? Are Nigerians lower than animals now, that they can just go missing after a military operation, and there’s isn’t one single Nigerian concerned? No activists? No humanists? Nobody?

  • Abdussalami Yaro

    This is good news. Buhari is indeed magnanimous. But I will also register my name as a victim, because I could remember, someday in late 1967, I was traumatized and had to jumped into a ditch, when a B2 bomber attacked Malam Aminu Kano International airport.

  • obiora

    Bribe Money will not Change any thing. Enemy is Enemy Killer is killer. Nigeria is both.Biafra we want.