Dangote’s Statement On BUA Cement “Stinks Of Desperation” –BUA Group
The BUA Group has described the recent statement by the management of Dangote Group alleging that it (BUA) is stealing and illegally mining on its (Dangote) limestone site in Obu, Okpella, Edo State as nothing but a “statement stinks of desperation”.
In a statement released by Ortega Ogra, Group Head, Corporate Communications of BUA Group, the company stated that its attention has been drawn to various new publications related to the ownership and operations of BUA’s mining sites in Obu, Okpella, Edo State.
“This latest statement by Dangote Group stinks of desperation in its continued attempt to disregard the judicial process and scheme a viable competitor out of business as has been their legendary antecedent.
“We thus wish to reiterate once again that whilst we do not want to join issues with anyone on this matter as it is currently before a court of competent jurisdiction, we are however compelled to use the opportunity presented by Edwin Devakumar (Dangote Group executive director)’s statements to clarify the cycle of misinformation being proliferated.
“In specific response to Edwin Devakumar of Dangote Group’s claim of BUA operating on ML2541 in Okene, Kogi State, we wish to restate that BUA does not have any operations whatsoever in Okene, Kogi State where the purported ML2541 is situated.
“Our Mining operations are limited to Obu-Okpella, Edo State for which licenses ML18912 & 18913 were issued and revalidate by the same ministry in a publication. These license have been owned, operated and fulfilled by BUA and its predecessors-in-title since 1976 as it is also a notorious fact that we have exercised total control and possession over the mining area covered by the above mining leases since 1976 when we operated under the name of Bendel Cement Company Limited.
“We are thus wont to excuse Edwin’s claims to a lack of basic knowledge and understanding of the geography of Nigeria but he will be better served if he seeks professional opinion in critically understanding the geography of Nigeria or he should otherwise refer to documents from the boundary commission which clearly delineates boundaries within Nigeria.
The BUA Group then alleged that Dangote, an international company which is also listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, is averse to letting the rule of the law and judicial process taken its course.
“The court has maintained that Status Quo be maintained (This includes BUA’s current ownership of our mines in Edo State) but the management of Dangote Group, as it has been their strategy in the past to other companies in competition with them, is still seeking to out-muscle competition through backdoor means rather than let the court decide,” part of the statement reads.
“If anyone is not satisfied, they should write to the courts as an independent arbiter for an interpretation of “maintaining status quo” rather than spread misinformation in the court of public opinion.
“It is public knowledge that neither Dangote nor AICO or anyone for that matter can claim ownership of ML2541 as was stated in a court injunction by a Federal High Court sitting in Lokoja in suit FHC/LK/CS/25/2017 between Alhaji Mohammed Otaru Adeika & Ors. Versus AICO Ado Ibrahim and Company Limited, Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel, The Mining Cadestre Office and Dangote Industries Plc. How then can they continue to claim in obvious disregard of that court order that the ML2541 belongs to them? No one is above the law.”
“The facts of the matter, as far as we are concerned, is that BUA’s operations are in Obu, Okpella, Edo State and not Okene Kogi. We once again ask that all parties should wait for the court to resolve the issue. We will not be cowed or intimidated and will continue to seek redress through the proper legal channels,” BUA Group noted.
Meanwhile, the company has expressed surprise as to why the Edo State government ordered the closure of Obu mine site in the Okpella area of Edo.
Ogra said his company had not received an official communication on the closure of the mines.
He explained that since the court had asked the parties to maintain status quo, BUA would abide by the court ruling.
“It is, however, interesting to note that the mine under contention, ML2541, has been claimed repeatedly by the ministry of mines and Dangote to be in Okene, Kogi state,” Ogra stated.
“Thus, we are curious and are at a great loss as to why the Governor of Edo State is closing down a mine in Edo State which has been claimed by the other parties involved to be outside his state in Okene, Kogi state.
“The ministry has written us prior and our response was published in our open letter to His Excellency, The President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on December 4, 2017. This case remains in a competent court of jurisdiction which has ordered all parties – BUA, Dangote, the ministry of mines and others to maintain status quo and we will continue to abide by the dictates of the court as a responsible corporate citizen.
“We are however yet to receive some form of official communication asking us to close our mining sites ML18912 and ML18913 in Edo State, thus this alleged closing down report still remains in the territory of hearsay.
“We will respond accordingly when and if we get an official communication from the proper authorities.”