The Federal High Court on Monday, August 20 ordered the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to immediately pay the sum of N8 billion to Tiv communities in Benue state invaded by soldiers sometime in the year 2001.
The judge, Justice Inyang Ekwo, added that he would subsequently make an order for the disbursement of the money after the CBN complies with the order for the payment.
The plaintiffs in the suit are 14 persons from the Benue communities, who were victims of the military invasion which occurred about 18 years ago.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the money was awarded in favor of the communities in Logo, Ukum, Kwande and Katsina-Ala local government areas of the state, for the loss of lives and property they suffered during the invasion by soldiers of the Nigerian Army in 2001.
Justice Inyang Ekwo gave the order following the garnishee application by the communities for the enforcement of the consent judgment delivered by the Court of Appeal in Enugu on February 2, 2015.
The judge, who had earlier granted the preliminary “garnishee nisi”, made the garnishee order “absolute” on Monday by ordering the CBN to pay the sum of N8 billion into an interest yielding account to be domiciled with First Bank of Nigeria Plc administered by the chief registrar of the court.
The judge added that he would subsequently make an order for the disbursement of the money after the CBN complies with the order for the payment.
“The garnishee (CBN) is hereby ordered to pay the garnishee sum into an interest yielding account to be opened and maintained by the chief registrar of this court in First Bank of Nigeria Plc.
“The order authorising the disbursement of the money, shall be made upon being satisfied with the terms of disbursement including the legal fees jointly signed by Ocha Ulegede Esq, and J.K Gadzama, SAN, for the garnishes and endorsed by first-class chiefs of Ukum, Logo, Kwande, Katsina-Ala local government areas on behalf of the Tiv traditional council.nan.ng