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Monday, 18 December 2017

Edo shuts down mine over Dangote, BUA dispute

Edo shuts down mine over Dangote, BUA dispute

The Edo government has shut down the Obu mine site in Okpella area of the state over the dispute between Dangote Group Plc and BUA International Limited.

Both companies are claiming ownership of the mining site.

Speaking at a meeting with leaders of the Okpella community on Monday, Godwin Obaseki, the governor, said the decision to shut down the mine was in line with a directive of the ministry of mines and steel development to prevent a break down of law and order.

Obaseki said the security agencies have been directed to ensure that no mining activity takes place there pending the determination of the dispute which is already in court.

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“I am very concerned, particularly because of the security implication of this impasse on Okpella community. The issues are clear; two entities cannot own the same asset, particularly in an industry like mining with international best practices and processes for determining ownership rights,” the governor said.

“I don’t believe that Nigeria is different. And when there is a dispute as per ownership, there are also laid down globally accepted ways of resolving these disputes. People cannot resort to self-help in a country where there is rule of law.

“I understand that the matter of the ownership of Obu mines is in the court and parties are waiting the declaration by the court.

“Therefore, Edo state government, today, following what we have received from the federal ministry of mines will close down Obu mines until the determination of the suit currently pending in at the federal high court.

Whoever the court says owns the mines, becomes the bona fide owner after the judgement has been delivered. But between now and the outcome of the court, we do not want to see anybody – I mean anybody – in that property.

“I want to state clearly that it is in the interest of all parties to ensure that there is the rule of law, because that is the only way they can protect their investments.

“Please note, effective today, everybody must move out of Obu mines, which is to be shut until the declaration of the suit which is currently at the court.”

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On his part, Ayuba Giwa, counsel to the Okpella community, said that the people of are happy about the governor’s investment drive.

Giwa said the community wants peace to reign and they are ready to accommodate all investors.

BUA chairman, Abdul Samad Ramad, recently wrote an open letter to President Muhammadu Buhari alleging that Dangote and the ministry of mines and steel development colluded to attack his workers with militants.

But the ministry denied the allegation, accusing BUA of engaging in illegal mining.

READ More :  BUA engaging in illegal mining on my site –Dangote

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