OBU Mines: BUA Threatens Dangote Group with Contempt of Court Proceedings
Struggle to keep mining assets between the leading cement companies in Nigeria has become tough follows BUA Group threat of contempt of court proceeding against Dangote group.
BUA Group on Wednesday warn it arch rival, Dangote Group, to desist from blocking entrance to OBU Mines else it is ready to initiate contempt of court proceedings against Dangote in three days If it fails to remove the excavators and trenches used in barricading the entrance of Obu Mines.
The BUA Group, in a statement in Lagos by Mr. O’tega Ogra, its Head of Corporate Communications revealed the plan.
The company said Dangote Group, in its not so surprising tactics and in total disregard for the court and rule of law, had laid siege to BUA’s Obu Mines, Okpella.
It stated that erecting such barricades at the entrance of the mines by Dangote had prevented BUA’s vehicles from operating at the sites, even after a Federal High Court in Benin recently granted the company rights over the mines.
BUA said it would institute contempt proceedings against the Dangote Group and Patrick Omokagbor, an employee of the company, who coordinated the contemptuous act.
The statement noted that Omokagbor acted on the instruction of Devakumar Edwin, an Indian and a Director of the Dangote Group.
BUA urged “Dangote to obey the rule of law which is the pillar and foundation of any democracy, noting that no one is above the law, no matter how highly placed, powerful or influential.”
BUA, however, advised Dangote to Appeal the court’s judgement, instead of engaging in illegal tactics.
“BUA wishes to draw the attention of the general public and the relevant authorities to the brazen attempt of the Dangote Group to frustrate a recent judgment of a Federal High Court Benin, in Suit No. FHC/B/CS/101/2017: BUA v. IGP & Ors, in a bid to deprive the group of the fruit of its successful litigation.
“BUA instituted the aforementioned suit in 2017, following the audacious and unlawful disruption of its operations at the mining sites in Obu, Okpella, Edo, by the respondents in the suit (the Nigeria Police, Dangote Industries Ltd and Dangote Cement Plc).
“BUA Group approached the court to protect its fundamental right to peaceful possession of the mining sites and specifically applied for an order restraining the respondents from further interfering in any manner whatsoever with BUA’s operation of the mining lease sites,” it said.
According to the statement, Dangote Group, in total disregard of the court judgement and rule of law on June 15, commenced the excavation and dredging of the access road and surroundings to the mining site.
However, in a statement signed Mr. Devakumar Edwin, Group Executive Director, Dangote Group, the management denied the claim of BUA Group to the mining sites in Obu, Okpella.
Edwin said the Dangote Group had appealed the High Court judgment, and that until the Appellate Court ruled on the matter, the BUA Group could not lay claim or even operate on the mining site.