Mining Controversy: BUA Petitions Buhari over Dangote, Minister’s Conduct

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President Muhammadu Buhari

Crisis rocking two cement heavyweights in Nigeria, BUA International Group and Dangote Industries, over ownership of mining sites in Edo and or Kogi States, has taken a new dimension as BUA International Limited has petitioned the President of Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, in a 10 page advertorial titled “A Cry For Help: Wanton Abuse of Power By A Serving Minister Geared At Sabotaging Operations of BUA Cement.”

According to BUA “We are writing to your Excellency, the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as our last recourse in view of recent clandestine actions, activities and conduct of a senior minister, the Honourable Minister of Mines and Steel Development in collaboration with Dangote Group and their cohorts capable of undermining peace and security in Edo State and operations in and around BUA Group Cement Okpella plant, as intimidation, harassment from the duo to BUA operations has continued unabated within the recent times.

The company affirmed that “Our cement business has of late come under intense, consistent attacks – physical and otherwise as the Minister, Dangote group and their cohorts have sought to employ instruments of state and other illegal tactics to forcefully wrest control our mining areas related to mining leases ML 18913 being held and operated by BUA at Obu-Okpella, Etsako East LGA, Edo State. These actions are despite the existence of Suit No FHC/B/CS/7/2016 between BUA and Anor V Honourbale Minister of Mines and Steel Development and Suit No FHC/B/CS/74/2016 between Dangote Industries Limited V BUA International Limited before Honourable Justice Ajoku of the Federal High Court, Benin Judicial Division that have been fixed for definite hearing on the 5th and 6th December, 2017.”

The statement signed by BUA’s Executive Chairman/CEO, Abdulsamad Rabiu, queried “Why is the Minister and the Ministry bent on ejecting BUA who has a valid mining lease over a mining area in Edo State whilst Dangote Group’s purported lease covers an area in Kogi State.”

“Why can’t the Minister and Dangote Group having submitted to the jurisdiction of the court, wait for the case to be decided on its merit? Is Dangote by his actions in connivance with the Minister trying to tell the world that through his connections, influence and networks in government, he is able to take over our – and any business and legal interest in Nigeria by undermining due process and with no respect for the judicial system? And why will a serving Minister choose to undermine the government by disregarding ongoing court processes rather than let the rule of law run its course?”

BUA lamented that “What is crucial is that there are pending litigation in court between BUA, Dangote, Ministry of Solid Minerals, Cadastral Office etc over ML 2541, ML17825, ML 18912, ML 18913 and until a judicial determination of the rights of the parties is obtained from the court, any step(s) taken by any person whosoever to undermine the subject matter of the litigation in court will not only be contempt of court but will put a bold question mark on the anti corruption image being projected by the present administration of your estmeed self, the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

Story by Daniels Ekugo

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