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Published On: Mon, Apr 7th, 2014

Boko Haram: Confusion over N3.2bn payment to victims’ families

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President Goodluck JonathanBy Clem Khena-Ogbena, Joy Baba & Stanley Onyekwere

There is confusion amongst federal government bodies over payments that are supposed to be made to families of military personnel who fell to the bullets of Boko Haram insurgents across the North.

The targeted beneficiaries included the military personnel, as well as officials of Directorate of State Services, otherwise known as SSS, police and some paramilitary agencies who died in the fight against the insurgency.

According to our findings, N2.5 billion of the total sum was to be shared among the families of the affected military personnel, while the remaining N700 million was meant for distribution to families of the SSS, police and other security agencies’ victims.

Our investigations within the military have shown that families of slain officers and men of the Army, Air Force and Navy are yet to be compensated from a N3.2 billion approved for the purpose since last year.

Some military personnel in Abuja who should know as well as affected victims in the 202 Tank Battalion, Bama, Borno state confided in our reporters that they were yet to receive payments of the compensation.

When contacted, the Deputy Director, Press, Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation (AGF), Mr. Charles Nwodo, told one of our reporters that the Office was not aware of such payment.

He maintained that the Office of the AGF would have nothing to hide if it was aware of such development, with relevant documents.

Earlier on, the Director, Defence Information, Major General Chris Olukolade, had similarly declared that he had no knowledge of the said funds.

The Defence spokesman told one of our reporters that what he knows of is the insurance scheme for military officers in the event of death while in service.

General Olukolade promised to double check the records and update one of our reporters who contacted him on the matter.

However, contradicting what Nwodo said, the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the Minister of Finance and Supervising Minister for the Economy, Mr. Paul Nwabiukwu, disclosed that the AGF’s Office had since released the said money to an insurance firm (name not disclosed), mandated to pay the deceased soldiers’ families.

Nwabiukwu, who responded to questions put to him on the issue through SMS said: “What I meant is AGF’s family has released the money to the insurance firm for payment to the soldiers’ families”.

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