There appears to be no end in sight to the crisis over the leasing right of the mining sites in Obu, Okpella, Edo state, between BUA Group and Dangote Conglomerate, as the former accused the latter of acting in disregard of court order .
BUA made the claim in a statement issued Wednesday, a copy of which was obtained by Blueprint in Abuja.
The statement came against the backdrop of the call by Dangote Group on “the regulatory agencies to disregard completely the unfounded and mischievous claim and publication by the BUA Group, saying it was riddled with misrepresentations and deliberate distortions of facts.”
In the statement issued Monday, Dangote Group “denied the claim by the BUA Group to the mining sites in Obu, Okpella, Edo State, refuting the ownership claim, as the latter said it relied on the Federal High Court recent judgment in Benin.”
The statement signed by Group Executive Director Devakumar Edwin said the organisation “through its lawyers had vigorously defended the Suit filed by the BUA Group seeking a perpetual Injunctive Order against further interference with their purported fundamental rights to property and privacy.
It said the Dangote Group however, appealed the High Court judgment, saying, “until the Appellate Court rules, BUA cannot lay claim or even operate on the mining site.”
In a counter statement however, the BUA Group described the action as “brazen attempt of the Dangote Group to frustrate a recent judgement of a Federal High Court, Benin in Suit No. FHC/B/CS/101/2017: BUA v. IGP &Ord, in a bid to deprive the BUA Group of the fruit of its successful litigation.
“It would be recalled that BUA instituted the aforementioned Suit in 2017 following the audacious and unlawful disruption if BUA operations at the mining sites in Obu, Okpella, Edo State by the Respondents in the Suit(the Nigeria Police, Dangote Industries, Limited and Dangote Cement Plc).”
“BUA Group approached the Court to protect its fundamental right to peaceful possession of the mining sites and specifically applied to the Court for an order restraining the Respondents from further interfering in any manner whatsoever with BUA’s operation of the mining lease sites.
“Subsequently, an order of the court was granted restraining the 1st and 2nd respondents (The Police) as well as the 3rd and 4th Respondents from interfering with BUA operations in the mining sites, on 28th May, 2020,” it said.
While insisting the judgement of the court was clear and explicit, it quoted the judgement to have read inter alia: “That an order for an interim injunction is hereby granted against the 1stst and 2nd Respondents who are hereby restrained from interfering in any manner whatsoever with the said mining lease pending the determination of the 2 pending suits No FHC/B/CS/7/2016&FHC/B/CS/74/2016 before Honourable Justice Ajoku of the Federal High Court Benin accordingly.”