Nigerian government has agreed to an out -of-court settlement in a case alleging a breach of fundamental rights and negligence to clear land mines and abandoned explosives from the 1967-1970 civil war sites.
The plaintiffs, Vincent Agu and 19 others, who had filed the suit against the federal government and five others, are claiming N100 billion compensatory and general damages from the federal government.
At the resumed hearing of the case, counsel to the applicants, Alex Williams, told the court that the parties had amicably resolved the dispute but was yet to file the terms of settlement before the court.
Mr. Williams said the filing of the terms of settlement was delayed because the federal government was yet to appoint an Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice who would assent to the terms agreed to by the parties.
The counsel, therefore, asked for adjournment of the case pending the appointment of the minister.
The counsel to the federal government and other defendants, Shola Egbeyinka from Femi Falana’s Chamber, corroborated the position of the applicants’ lawyer, stating that the parties had duly settled but the absence of attorney general stalled the necessary action on it.
Egbeyinka expressed the assurance that before the next adjourned date, the minister of justice would have been appointed and the report of settlement would be ready for presentation to the court.
The presiding Judge, Chijoke Nwoke, adjourned the case till January 19, 2016 for report of settlement.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, the plaintiffs had filed the suit alleging violation of their fundamental human rights.
They alleged that the defendants were guilty of negligence for their failure to clear and remove landmines, abandoned explosives remnants of war and unexploded ordinance on time from war-contaminated areas.
They said the negligence of the defendants had caused maiming and injuring of civilian population by landmines, explosives and remnants of war armaments in their various communities.
The claimants sought the court declaration that the stockpile of live bombs in the residential neighbourhood located at plot 108 Ndubuisi Kanu Street, New Owerri, Imo, was a violation of their rights.
They sought the court order directing the federal government to embark on victims’ assistance and rehabilitation by seeking N50 billion compensatory damages and N50 billion general damages against the defendants.
The court had ordered that the inspection of the bomb site should be carried out.
The court had also directed that after the inspection, the defendants should remove, diffuse, detonate or by whatever means dispose any bomb found during the inspection.

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