Court restrains Dangote, Police from interfering in BUA’s operations | Ripples Nigeria
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Court restrains Dangote, Police from interfering in BUA’s operations

BUA Cement lists N1.18 trillion worth of shares on NSE

A Benin City Federal High Court has issued a restraining order against Dangote Industries and the Nigerian Police Force, stopping them from interfering with the operations of BUA Group in the disputed Obu-Okpella mining sites in Obu-Okpella, Edo State.

A statement by the management of BUA Group on Sunday said that the company was legitimately operating on its mining sites until operations at three of the mines were suddenly interrupted by the Inspector General of Police and the Edo State Police Commissioner on the order of Dangote Industries and Dangote Cement Plc in 2017.

The statement said the court directed the Inspector General of Police, the Edo State Commissioner of Police, Dangote Cement Plc and Dangote Industries to keep off the mining sites and stop interfering in any way with BUA’s operation of the disputed mining lease sites.

“We wish to inform shareholders, employees, customers, regulators, host communities, security agencies and the general public that the Federal High Court, Benin, in a recent judgement, has made an order which upholds BUA’s fundamental right to peaceful possession of the mining sites in Obu-Okpella, Edo State (operated by BUA Cement and which BUA became seised by virtue of mining leases granted by the Federal Government of Nigeria), without unlawful interference from the Inspector General of Police, 1st respondent; Commissioner of Police, Edo State, second respondent; Dangote Industries, third, and Dangote Cement Plc, fourth…

“The first and second respondents, at the behest of the third and fourth, invaded and shut down the operations. We then approached the courts to enforce our fundamental rights to the property of the mines as well as our rights to continue operating from those mines,” the statement read in part.

Read also: BUA Cement posts 5.4% profit drop despite N57bn revenue growth, offers N1.75 dividend

BUA disclosed that it continued to run its operations from its other sites unaffected by the legal battle while awaiting the verdict of the court on the issue.

It went on to state that the court found that the company had always been in possession of the sites and discovered also that the first and second respondents were used by the third and fourth respondents to invade and disrupt its operation at the disputed mine sites while two other matters were pending between BUA Group and the third and fourth respondents.

“The court accordingly granted an order restraining the first and second respondents (the Police) as well as the third and fourth respondents (Dangote Industries &Dangote Cement Plc) from interfering in any manner whatsoever with BUA’s operation of disputed mining lease sites. The two other matters remain pending in court.

“This judgement is one major step towards the final vindication of our rights over the mining sites and in line with BUA’s position that it holds the legal mining leases to the disputed sites, and that all parties in this dispute allow the courts be the final arbiter as has been our mantra — let the courts decide.

“We, therefore, wish to thank the judiciary for standing firm on the side of justice in the discharge of its duties, as well as the commitment of all parties in submitting wholeheartedly to the judicial process. BUA has now resumed operations at the Obu-Okpella mines as ordered by the court.”

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