Symbol of justice
Some of the victims of soldiers’ invasion of Zaki Biam communities in Benue State yesterday stormed the Federal High Court in Abuja where they rejected the purported agreement between the federal and state governments to pay only N8 billion as settlement of the N41.8 billion judgment awarded in their favour by the court.
Addressing journalists, the victims lawyers, Messrs Sebastine Hon (SAN) and Chris Alashi, said the state government was not a party to the suit and that there was no legal basis to discuss the settlement of the case with the state.
The lawyers said: “We hereby state categorically that whatever settlement the Federal Government and the state government have reached is not binding on our clients who reject same without the slightest equivocation.
“Our clients were neither consulted nor did they consent to the terms of the so-called settlement.
“The intentions and actions of the state government, which we concede may have been for good purposes, are with respect not binding on our clients.”
Two of the victims had their hands chopped off while the private parts of two others were severed by the irate soldiers.
The victims said the entire Tiv nation were not ready to accept any amount less by even one Kobo from the judgment debt of N41.8billion awarded over six years ago in favour of the plaintiffs/judgment creditors.
The plaintiffs represented over 14,000 victims. Some of them died before the case was concluded.
They called on President Goodluck Jonathan to direct all relevant agencies of the Federal Government to as a matter of utmost urgency take step to satisfy the judgment debt of N41.8 billion.
A Federal High Court had in 2007 made a garnishee order absolute that the Federal Government should pay the entire judgment sum within 10 days.