BUA Group has said that it would continue to exercise its rights to carry out mining activities at Obu Mines in Okpella, Edo State, despite closure of the mines which was announced by the state governor, Godwin Obaseki.
Governor Obaseki had ordered the closure of the mines following disputes between BUA and Dangote Group. Dangote group is accusing BUA of illegal activities in the mines.
But BUA, in a statement issued in response to the one made to the Nigerian Stock Exchange by Dangote Cement said it “remains in possession of the Mining Areas covered by Mining Leases 18912 and 18913 in Obu, Okpella, Edo State and will continue to exercise its rights to operate those mines in line with the dictates of the courts”.
It added: “If anyone or any stakeholder (especially the Ministry) remains in doubt as to what ‘Status Quo’ means in this case, they are free to write to the courts for an interpretation”.
Below is the full statement:
BUA International Limited, owners of BUA Cement, heartily welcomes the resolve by Dangote Cement Plc to await the outcome of the courts in their corporate disclosure published on the Nigerian Stock Exchange website dated 20 December, 2017 and titled, “DANGOTE CEMENT – RESPONSE TO BUA ALLEGATIONS”.
This is in line with what BUA has always insisted and we appreciate the decision to wait for a judicial outcome rather than resorting to self-help and/or using influence and certain agencies of government in disrupting operations at some of BUA’s mining areas covered by ML18912 and ML18913 in Obu, Okpella, Edo State.
With respect to the statement by the Ministry of Mines published in Punch Newspapers of December 8, 2017 and alluded to by Dangote Cement Plc in its statement, BUA wishes to state that we have responded to the ministry through our lawyers and via other media. BUA remains resolute and unequivocal about its stand that ‘Status Quo be preserved’ as instructed by the Federal High Court sitting in Benin in Suit No. FHC/B/CS/7/2016 BUA International Limited & BUA Cement vs. Hon. Minister of Mines & Steel Development and Dangote Cement Plc.
For the purpose of clarity, this means that BUA remains in possession of the Mining Areas covered by Mining Leases 18912 and 18913 in Obu, Okpella, Edo State and will continue to exercise its rights to operate those mines in line with the dictates of the courts. If anyone or any stakeholder (especially the Ministry) remains in doubt as to what ‘Status Quo’ means in this case, they are free to write to the courts for an interpretation.
BUA also affirms that it fully intends to abide by the outcomes of the judicial process as provided by the laws and Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
BUA also hopes that with the statement by Dangote Cement Plc, this will put an end to the continued cycle of harassment or clandestine moves by certain stakeholders to usurp the powers of the courts and disrupt operations at our site in a clear disregard of existing court directives. BUA therefore enjoins and urges all stakeholders involved – not limited to the Edo State Government, the Ministry of Mines and Steel and other parties – to also await the outcome of the judicial process in the interest of a competitive business climate governed by the rule of law in Nigeria.
Further details on this matter will be published as appropriate.