19th September, 2011
A civil society group, the Proletarian Agenda, has expressed displeasure at recent reports that the lawyers of the Trovan Victims Forum (TVF) are threatening to go back to court to reopen the settled Trovan case in respect of the 1996 trials during the meningitis epidemic in Kano.
The group also tasked the Meningitis Board charged with the administration of compensation to participants in the Trovan study not to succumb to blackmail and to ensure that those certified through the agreed processes should be compensated.
This was contained in a press release signed by Mallam Umar Sani, national coordinator, Proletarian Agenda and made available to P.M.NEWS.
The group noted that the fresh suit by TVF was totally unnecessary since TVFâ€™s cases were settled out of court before their members agreed to undergo the DNA test.
According to the group â€œinvestigations carried out by our associates in the civil society movement showed that the 192 TVF members were compensated to the tune of $5,000 each before they agreed to withdraw their cases from court.
â€œ Now, with the rumour that only six out of the 192 TVF members were DNA-matched with actual participants in the Trovan study, the other pretenders and impostors are being egged on by their greedy sponsors to muddy the waters all over again by casting aspersions on the scientific DNA process and going back to court.
â€œWe insist that even among thieves there must be honour. The TVF lawyersâ€™ fees were settled along with the TVF memberâ€™s payment. It is scandalous that a body would willingly give an undertaking after collecting money and then turn round to repudiate its agreement. We dare the TVF lawyers and members to deny that they have collected money before withdrawing their case from court.
â€œWe call on the Meningitis Board not to succumb to blackmail. Only those certified through the agreed processes should be compensated.
â€œThe TVF is scared that at the end of the day, if only six out of their 192 members pass the test, it would have been scientifically exposed as a 419 body that tried to obtain compensation under false pretences. Some people donâ€™t want the so-called Trovan saga to ever come to an end. They must be stopped in their tracks.
â€œWe call on the Kano State Government to be cautious about being used to derail the compensation programme because we know that those behind this attempted scam of claiming compensation for fake victims would stop at nothing to satiate their greed.â€