Governor orders arrest of two employees of BUA

Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State has ordered the arrest of two employees of BUA International Limited over alleged violation of a Stop Work order issued by the Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel.
The order was due to the disputed Obu mine site located in the state.
The governor gave the arrest order on Wednesday when he visited the site and discovered that work was ongoing in spite of the directives from the Federal Government to stop work.
The order is pending the determination of a court suit over the ownership of the mine site.
Obaseki was accompanied by soldiers, policemen, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps and Department of State Services personnel in the state.
Obaseki said the State Government was more interested in the security of lives and property and that as much as there were needs for investors to make returns on their investments, no money was worth any life.
He said: “I addressed a section of the Okpella community who came to me to express concerns over the growing tension in the community because of the dispute over ownership of the Obu mine site.
“At that point, I issued instructions that the work should stop in line with the Federal Government’s directive and the case in court.
“I said that status quo be maintained until the determination of the case in court.
“I think that is the simple thing to do.”
The governor said it was regrettable that having gotten the directive, the management of BUA International Limited went on air to say that the State Government had no authority and right to enforce a Federal Government directive.
On his part, the Commissioner of Police in Edo State Johnson Kokumo, maintained that since the ownership of the mining site was in court, both parties must obey court order.
The 4 Brigade Commander, Brigadier General Ibrahaim Garba, ordered retrieval of all explosives at Obu mining site.
At the Palace of the Okuokphellagbe of Okpella, Alhaji Andrew Dirisu, Obaseki said the visit to the site was to assure the people of the area that government was on top of the situation.
Dirisu said the visit was to ensure peace in the community.
He commended the governor for ensuring peace in his domain, promising to assist the government to ensure that peace reigned in Okpella.
Bua International LimitedEdo StateFederal GovernmentGodwin Obaseki
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  • Prince

    We have been made aware that today, the Edo State Governor, in the company of some security operatives, visited one of our mining sites in Obu-Okpella, Edo State to effect a gestapo-style forceful shutdown of that mine despite a subsisting court pronouncement that the Mine be allowed to operate. Upon reaching that mining site and not meeting any personnel or equipment, two BUA Cement employees were invited to the mining site to receive the Governor. We later learnt that these employees were arrested upon arrival on the orders of the Governor and taken away for no just reason.
    As it stands, we do not know why they were arrested but have requested our lawyers to secure their unconditional release immediately as these employees are innocent and have no knowledge of why they were being arrested.
    Now that one of our mining sites has been forcefully closed down by the Governor without regard to the court’s pronouncement on maintaining status quo at that particular site (and without any formal communication from the Edo State Government), BUA as a responsible corporate entity has instructed its lawyers to report back to the courts on this latest developments and pursue all legal channels to enforce its rights.
    Whilst the Governor based the legitimacy of his actions on a purported Stop-Work order from the Ministry of Mines, BUA wishes to reiterate that there is a pronouncement of the Federal High Court sitting in Benin on December 5, 2017 that declared the Stop-work order issued by the ministry as a contravention of the Court’s directives to maintain status quo and thus deemed it illegal. The same court also threatened to arrest the Minister who is the first defendant in the case if the stop word order continues to be pursued.
    We once again ask all parties to await the conclusion of judicial process as this matter is already before a court of competent jurisdiction.