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Aliko Dangote, Abdulsamad Rabiu’s Feud Over Mining Sites Gets Messier

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The feud between Abdul Samad Rabiu’s BUA Group and Aliko Dangote’s Dangote Group is taking an interesting turn, as BUA Group described the publication of Dangote Group wherein it stated that BUA misinterpreted the fact about a pending court case as untrue and laden with fraught misrepresentations.

A statement by BUA Group explained that Dangote, in its hurry to twist facts, failed to justify the alleged misinterpretation in its publication but stylishly stated that it has appealed the judgement whilst accepting the recent court order, which granted BUA the right to peaceful possession and operations of three of its mining sites in Obu, Okpella in Edo State.

“In the said publication by Dangote Group, it was alleged that the initial publication of the BUA Group was riddled with misrepresentations and deliberate distortions of facts. We however note that the Dangote Group failed to identify any specific fact, which was distorted. On the contrary, the Dangote Group reiterated the fact that the judgment of the Court indeed restrained DIL and the other

Respondents, as contended by BUA, albeit stating that the judgment of the Court constitutes complete aberrations and contains manifests contradictions; and it has exercised its legal right to appeal the decision of the Court. Whilst we consider this attempt to disparage the Court on the pages of print media as an affront, we shall not be joining issues with the Dangote Group, as we are of the view that the Court can protect itself and DIL reserves the right to appeal the decision of the Court.

Dangote Group frowned at the right of BUA to institute the BUA Fundamental Right Suit on the basis that it was a clear abuse of court process as there are two other pending suits – the BUA Suit and Suit No. FHC/B/CS/74/2016: Dangote Industries Limited & Anor. v. BUA International Limited & Ors (“Dangote Suit”).

It is worty to note that the Dangote Group ironically commenced the Dangote Suit during the pendency of the BUA Suit. Moreover, it is trite law that any fundamental right suit is an independent claim, which does not impede a pending dispute. In this instance, the suit was deemed necessary in view of Dangote Groups use of the Nigeria Police Force to disrupt the possessory right of BUA Group and to safeguard the lives of BUA Group’s employees.

The Court confirmed this in the BUA Fundamental Rights Suit where it was stated: “that the 1st and 2nd Respondents (Police) allowed themselves to be used by the 3rd and 4th Respondents (DIL and Dangote Cement)”

It is imperative to note that the Dangote Group’s use of the Nigeria Police Force to disrupt BUA’s operations was done brazenly after DIL had applied to Court for a restraining order against BUA in Suit No. FHC/B/CS/74/2016, which was granted ex parte, but set aside by the Court upon a robust challenge by BUA.

Interestingly, the Dangote Group did not deny resorting to self-help in its publication. It is our contention that no one should be above the law, no matter how highly placed, powerful or influential as the rule of law is the pillar and foundation of any democracy.

BUA further corrected Dangote on it claim that BUA was granted its mining lease from the Governor of Edo State restating that the authority to grant a mining license is within the sole jurisdiction of the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development through the Nigeria Mining Cadastre Office, which granted the BUA licenses.

BUA also dismissed Dangote’s claim to BUA’s mining sites in Edo as absurd and frivolous as Dangote’s mining license was granted under Kogi State while BUA licenses and mining sites respectively cover and are located in Obu, Okpella in Edo State.

With respect to the Dangote Group’s interpretation of the consequence of its Appeal of the decision of the Court, it is trite law that an Appeal does not amount to a stay of execution, and the Dangote Group is only being mischievous by suggesting that BUA is refrained from taking benefit of the judgment, which was in BUA’s favor.

As held by the Supreme Court in the case of Tai Ajomale v. Yuduat and Anor (1991) All N.L.R. 197:
“The successful litigant is prima facie entitled to the fruits of the judgment in his favour, it is expressly provided in Section 24 of the Supreme Court Act, 1960, that an appeal does not operate as a stay of execution.”

“The Courts have also reiterated the position of law in the case of Enabulele v. Agbonlahor (1994) 5 NWLR (PT. 342) 112 at P125, where it was held that:
“It is trite law that under Section 18 of the Court of Appeal Act, 1976, the filing of a Notice of Appeal does not operate as a stay of execution since the Court will not normally deprive a successful party of the fruits of his successful litigation”

BUA Group will not join issues with Dangote as the intention of its publication was to inform its shareholders and other stakeholders of the judgment of the Federal High Court which granted BUA’s and not commence a media trial.

According to the statement titled: RE: BUA OBU MINES, OKPELLA EDO STATE, it read: “We read with dismay the publication by the Dangote Group which purports to “set the records straight” with regards to the earlier publication of the BUA group on the recent judgment of the Federal High Court in Suit No. FHC/B/CS/101/2017: BUA v. IGP & Ors. (“BUA Fundamental Right Suit”), which restrains Dangote Industries Limited (“DIL”) and other Respondents in the suit from interfering in BUA Group’s mining sites in Obu, Okpella, Edo State.

“In the said publication by Dangote Group, it was alleged that the initial publication of the BUA Group was riddled with misrepresentations and deliberate distortions of facts. We however note that the Dangote Group failed to identify any specific fact, which was distorted. On the contrary, the Dangote Group reiterated the fact that the judgment of the Court indeed restrained DIL and the other Respondents, as contended by BUA, albeit stating that the judgment of the Court constitutes complete aberrations and contains manifests contradictions; and it has exercised its legal right to appeal the decision of the Court.

Whilst we consider this attempt to disparage the Court on the pages of print media as an affront, we shall not be joining issues with the Dangote Group, as we are of the view that the Court can protect itself and DIL reserves the right to appeal the decision of the Court.

“Paradoxically, the Dangote Group’s publication was fraught with untrue statements, which it touted as the facts of the matter in an attempt to misinform the general public. Accordingly, we seek to clarify the fallacies as follows:
Title to Mining Sites
“The Dangote Group alleged that BUA claims to have been granted its mining licenses from the Governor of Edo State. In this regard, it is imperative to note that BUA has never contended that the Governor of Edo State granted its licenses, as the authority to grant a mining license is within the sole jurisdiction of the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development through the Nigeria Mining Cadastre Office, which granted the BUA licenses.

Further, both the Hon. Minister of Mines and Steel Development and the Nigeria Mining Cadastre Office are defendants in Suit No. FHC/B/CS/7/2016: BUA International Limited & Anor. v. Hon. Minister of Mines and Steel Development (“BUA Suit”), wherein BUA asserts its legal and beneficial ownership of the mining sites.

“Further, the Dangote Group explicitly asserted that BUA does not have any right to the mining sites on the basis of the response of the Director-General of the Mining Cadastre Office to BUA’s application to renew its licenses. Needless to say, the Director-General’s ministry and parastatal are also Defendants in the BUA Suit pending in Court and the reaction is therefore not surprising.

“We wish to state clearly that the mining license granted to Dangote Group explicitly states that the location is in Kogi State, Nigeria, while the BUA licenses and mining sites respectively cover and are located in Obu, Okpella, Edo State, Nigeria.

The Dangote Group’s attempt to lay claim to mining sites not within a geographical area covered by its license is therefore ludicrous.

“The general public is therefore advised that Dangote Group’s claims are nothing but an attempt to unilaterally determine the outcome of the very matter the Court has been approached to determine in Suit No. FHC/B/CS/7/2016 – BUA Suit, which is still pending”.

Legal Precedence
The Dangote Group also questioned the right of BUA to institute the BUA Fundamental Right Suit on the basis that it was a clear abuse of court process as there are two other pending suits – the BUA Suit and Suit No. FHC/B/CS/74/2016: Dangote Industries Limited & Anor. v. BUA International Limited & Ors (“Dangote Suit”). This is notwithstanding that the Dangote Group itself ironically commenced the Dangote Suit during the pendency of the BUA Suit. Moreover, it is trite law that any fundamental right suit is an independent claim, which does not impede a pending dispute.

In this instance, the suit was deemed necessary in view of Dangote Groups use of the Nigeria Police Force to disrupt the possessory right of BUA Group and to safeguard the lives of BUA Group’s employees. Indeed, Court confirmed this in the BUA Fundamental Rights Suit where it was stated: “that the 1st and 2nd Respondents (Police) allowed themselves to be used by the 3rd and 4th Respondents (DIL and Dangote Cement)”
It is imperative to note that the Dangote Group’s use of the Nigeria Police Force to disrupt BUA’s operations was done brazenly after DIL had applied to Court for a restraining order against BUA in Suit No. FHC/B/CS/74/2016, which was granted ex parte, but set aside by the Court upon a robust challenge by BUA. Interestingly, the Dangote Group did not deny resorting to self-help in its publication.

It is our contention that no one should be above the law, no matter how highly placed, powerful or influential as the rule of law is the pillar and foundation of any democracy. “With respect to the Dangote Group’s interpretation of the consequence of its Appeal of the decision of the Court, it is trite law that an Appeal does not amount to a stay of execution, and the Dangote Group is only being mischievous by suggesting that BUA is refrained from taking benefit of the judgment, which was in its favor. As held by the Supreme Court in the case of Tai Ajomale v. Yuduat and Anor (1991) All N.L.R. 197:

“The successful litigant is prima facie entitled to the fruits of the judgment in his favour, it is expressly provided in Section 24 of the Supreme Court Act, 1960, that an appeal does not operate as a stay of execution.”

“The Courts have also reiterated the position of law in the case of Enabulele v. Agbonlahor (1994) 5 NWLR (PT. 342) 112 at P125, where it was held that:
“It is trite law that under Section 18 of the Court of Appeal Act, 1976, the filing of a Notice of Appeal does not operate as a stay of execution since the Court will not normally deprive a successful party of the fruits of his successful litigation”

“We shall refrain from further joining issues on this particular matter as the intention of our initial publication was to inform our shareholders and other stakeholders of the judgment of the Federal High Court and not to commence a media trial with the Dangote Group”.

Society

Ibrahim Magu: The Rise and Fall Of The “almighty” EFCC Boss

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After five years as the public face of the federal government’s anti-graft crusade, the suspension and arrest of Ibrahim Magu, acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), who is being investigated for corruption is a major blight on the toga of President Muhammadu Buhari’s war on corruption that reinforces the public perception that the whole anti-graft war is just a smokescreen to harass and intimidate perceived opponents of the regime. Notwithstanding his offense, the public drama in which a combined team of policemen and officers of the Department of State Services (DSS) invaded the office of the EFCC to arrest Magu; whisked him off manu militari to face a presidential panel investigating allegations of corruption against him is shameful and most embarrassing to Nigerians. It is a debasement of Nigerian democracy and a sad manifestation of the rule of force over the rule of law. Although the Presidency touted the incident as an affirmation that no one under the Buhari administration is above the law, such brigandage lowers the country’s image before the comity of nations. This is the tragedy of Nigeria.

After over 20 years of democracy, there should be no more room for such conduct. The situation could have been handled more professionally without portraying the DSS as a Gestapo organization. This must never be allowed to repeat itself. Magu has been reportedly detained at the Police Force Criminal Investigation Department in Area 10, Abuja, on the orders of the presidential panel, which continue to question him over “weighty” allegations of misconduct. This is an insult to the Nigerian people carried too far, which does little credit to the image of President Buhari, whose promise of a new dawn in democratic governance and respect for the rule of law formed the plank of his political covenant with the people prior to his electoral mandate in 2015.

To begin with, a person of Magu’s status ought to be treated with dignity and respect in a democratic dispensation. The cavalier manner, in which he was arrested from his office after Buhari had recently applauded his services to the country and personally assented to Magu’s plan to auction over 400 luxury cars forfeited by internet fraudsters, was most undeserving. Without prejudice to any investigation, it is worth noting that it is not within the remit of the presidential panel to probe acts of corruption by public officials. The arrest and detention of Magu certainly need to be justified, but such justification cannot be in violation of due process and the right of presumption of innocence until proven guilty, which Magu is entitled to as a Nigerian citizen. That the presidential panel is treating Magu as if he is a convicted felon is most unfortunate. What if Magu ends up being exonerated?

Besides, a presidential panel is not a court of law and has no authority to order Magu to be detained without bail. In fact, Magu has the right to bail while the investigation is conducted. To subject him to questioning and remanding him in detention even when no competent authority or jurisdiction has established that he is a flight risk; are clear violations of Magu’s fundamental rights, and respect for the dignity of his person and personal liberty as guaranteed by Sections 31 and 35 of the Constitution. Such barefaced violation of the right to privacy and dignity cannot be in the best interest of democracy; it is lawlessness. The president on whose authority the panel is acting must guard against repeating such lawlessness and acting in a manner suggesting a disdain for due process. As for Magu, he should be released immediately or charged in court.

For the avoidance of doubt, the official narrative that the panel is probing allegations of corruption against Magu following a damning memo by the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami (SAN) is laughable and defies logic. Nigerians have not forgotten the brazen show of megalomania, when as acting President, Yemi Osinbajo sent a letter to the Senate re-nominating Magu as EFCC chairman, after the Senate had rejected his candidacy, citing a DSS security report with the same corruption allegations, which the same AGF, Malami, later claimed to have investigated and cleared Magu of any wrongdoing. ‎

Without equivocation, Nigerians were deeply concerned about the wide-reaching implications of the president acting like defense attorney and holding brief for a man indicted for corruption by the legislative arm of government after the Senate deemed Magu unfit to hold public office. In civilized democracies, Magu himself, seeing that the matter was getting out of hand could have voluntarily withdrawn his nomination. This would certainly have fetched him accolades and leave Nigerians to fight the battle for him in the court of public opinion. But thanks to Buhari’s nonchalance, Magu stayed on for five years. In all, maintaining Magu as acting EFCC chair only authenticated impunity. With Buhari’s total backing, Magu wage a political vendetta and witch-hunt against Buhari’s perceived opponents, including loyalists of the Goodluck Jonathan administration. In the process, Magu stepped on many toes and made many enemies. The list is long and endless.

Former Defence Minister, Lt Gen Theophilus Danjuma (retd) recently visited Buhari. The billionaire oil mogul was seething with rage and anger that the check he issued to purchase an aircraft bounced! Danjuma was informed by his bankers that the order to withhold payment came from Magu! Aso Villa sources said Buhari bent over backward to convince Danjuma that he knew nothing about the incident but the sources also pointed out that Magu read the president’s mind and picked up the signal to finger Danjuma when Buhari dropped Danjuma’s protégé, Ibe Kachikwu from his cabinet. A few weeks before that incident, the Minna home of former military Head of State, Gen Abdulsalami Abubakar was raided and ransacked by EFCC operatives. Buhari also got to know only after the event had happened.

While neither Danjuma nor Abdulsalami is above the law, the instruments of state power should never be used to harass and ridicule citizens. Besides, a man who would take on the high and mighty, including members of the president’s immediate family, must be above board both in his private thinking and public action. Magu failed on both counts: in the past five years, Magu has made many conflicting claims about hundreds of billions of recovered looted funds and assets but subsequent auctions for recovered assets, resulted in choice properties being doled out to his cronies. Since in Abuja, like Washington DC, everything leaks and everyone knows which skeleton is in which cupboard (including who is sleeping with whose spouse), it didn’t take long for Buhari to become inundated with petitions how Magu and his cronies were re-looting the recovered looted funds.

Surprisingly, on November 22, 2017, Buhari appointed a three-member committee to audit all assets recovered by agencies of the federal government from May 29, 2015. Headed by Olufemi Lijadu, who later became chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the panel was given four months to complete their assignment but ended up spending ten months. But even before they submitted their report, then Finance Minister, Kemi Adeosun, noticed discrepancies from the figures that were emerging and sent Magu a memo seeking clarification on the recoveries “based on the information available to the Office of Accountant-General of the Federation.” According to Adeosun, the attention of her ministry had been drawn to “recovery figures in media reports by the EFCC that do not reconcile with the records of the ministry” asking Magu to “clarify where this cash recoveries have been deposited and provide accompanying evidence.” Magu ignored the memo.

Meanwhile, the AGF to whose office Magu should ordinarily report (but doesn’t out of sheer arrogance) bided his time before writing a damning memo to Buhari regarding the report on recovered assets, which became the basis for Magu’s suspension and arrest. All that notwithstanding, Buhari’s volte-face after keeping Magu in office for five years is the hypocrisy that reduces the presidency to one that will go to any length to pander to the ego-tripping of the president’s men, even at the risk of compromising Buhari’s own integrity. It needs also to be stated that at the topmost management of the public, respect is mutual and reciprocal for the smooth running of the state. Such mutuality is dictated by the decorum exercised by authorities in the discharge of their duties. The government should treat the office of people like Magu with some dignity. They should be treated at their exit, in the same manner, they were treated when they held office. Magu’s office invasion and arrest fell short of this required decorum, for it diminishes the office of the EFCC chairman and debases the ethos and values of Nigeria’s preeminent anti-graft agency. By elimination, it is an index of what Nigeria does not value.

Against a man who prosecuted Buhari’s war on corruption with such messianic zeal, the barbaric arrest was nothing more than whimsical and disdainful impunity, which left much to be desired about the cantankerous temperament of the president himself. Like Nuhu Ribadu, Magu’s ongoing ordeal to the detriment of his office merely advertises the culture of impunity that holds the nation up to public ridicule and does little credit to the President’s image as a statesman. But far more than anything else it engendered, the indecorous public humiliation of Magu remains a national embarrassment and an imprudent display of statecraft.

 

Source: Huhuonline.

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APC Chairman Arrested For Raping Two Girls

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The Nasarawa State police command has arrested the All Progressive Congress ward chairman in Obi Local Government Area of Nasarawa State, Christopher Ogah, for allegedly defiling two girls in his house in Obi town.

Alhaji Mohammad Oyimoga Oyigye, Chairman of the Local Government Area, said he saved Ogah from being lynched by angry youth, who caught him and immediately handed him over to the police.

A witness said the APC chairman lured the girls when they entered his house to fetch water, adding that it was not his first time of committing such crime.

He said the two girls were 12 and 13-respectively.

Nasarawa State Commissioner of Police, Bola Longe, said he had directed that the case be transferred to State Criminal Investigation Department in Lafia for a discreet investigation after which the suspect will be charged to court.

“The police under my watch want to warn would-be rapist to have a rethink or face the wrath of the law.

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IT’S THE DAWN OF A NEW ERA IN IRU KINGDOM, THE EARLIER ADESEGUN ABIODUN-ONIRU REALIZES THIS, THE BETTER

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People fight realities in different ways but for Adesegun Abiodun-Oniru, the Aremo of the past Oniru of Iru Kingdom, it appears the reality is just settling in that not only is he no longer the Aremo to the throne, but the fact that he isn’t the man chosen for the throne is just beginning to become a reality he is being confronted with.
During the reign of their father, the immediate past Oniru, Adesegun and his siblings and friends lived like kings, they lived it to the very hilt, a life of opulence and royalty, with undisguised disdain for the indigenes and residents of the kingdom.
Even the other princes and princesses of the other royal families were seen as lesser being to the sons and daughters of the then reigning king, this particular perception of the other princes may just be the reason Prince Tijani Oniru could raise his hands to slap a prince on official duties from the palace, Prince Murisiku Ajasa. The face-off between Prince Murisiku and Prince Tijani Oniru ultimately led to the invasion of the palace Sunday, July 5, 2020.
It is important to note that the faceoff yesterday between a prince of the Iru royal family of the Akiogun branch, Prince Tijani Oniru and some members of the enumeration committee led by Prince Murisiku Ajasa on the duty of enumerating the properties of the kingdom on the instruction of the new Oniru, His Royal Majesty, Oba Abdulwasiu Gbolahan Lawal is rather unfortunate.
As a father to all, the doors to the palace is open to all, especially to the princes and princesses of the kingdom, and should they have any grievance on any ongoing project, they ought to approach the palace and seek clarification, rather than engage the committee members who were carrying out their duties.
While there may have been a misunderstanding between Prince Tijani Abiodun-Oniru and Prince Murisiku Ajasa and the committee members, in the course of carrying out their duties, it is expected that as a prince of the royal Iru family, Prince Tijani ought to have handled the situation better and not resort to physically engaging his fellow prince and the committee.
Invading the palace in the company of policemen is an action unbecoming of princes of the kingdom but it can be understood that it may be actions taken in the spur of the moment, but speak very poorly of them. Oba Abdulwasiu Gbolahan Lawal has maintained an open door policy since ascending the throne and enjoys a very cordial relationship with all the princes of the land. Adesegun Abiodun-Oniru should have put a call through to Kabiyesi and make his grievances known, rather than invade the palace with his brother and policemen.
As a former law enforcement officer and a well read and traveled individual, Kabiyesi Abdulwasiu Gbolahan Lawal abhors violence and will never subscribe to the use of brute force or thugs in carrying out any of his plans for Iru kingdom, rather engagement and dialogues has been the route of choice since his ascension.
The ongoing enumeration exercise being carried out by the new Oniru is for the benefit of all the three branches of the royal families, i.e the Akiogun, Abisogun and Ogunyemi families. In collaboration with consultants, the palace is working assiduously to collate information and create a database of all assets, information and properties of the kingdom for records of the Oniru Royal Family. There are no malevolent intentions to the project whatsoever as far as we have seen.
The Oniru as the custodian of the heritage, values and assets of the kingdom knows that a proper documentation of everything being held in trust by the throne, will go a long way in creating accountability and equity within the kingdom, for generations unborn.
As a father to all, Kabiyesi Gbolahan Lawal has reiterated that a peaceful coexistence between all and sundry within the kingdom is his number one priority, as well as redeveloping and rebranding the kingdom for the benefit of the indigenes, residents and businesses within the kingdom.
The sons of the former Oniru should accord the new custodian of their heritage the deserved respect and should conduct themselves in manners consistent with royal upbringing. The Hausas have an adage, ‘seriki goma, sanmoni goma’ which translates to 10 kings and 10 reigns. It is the reign of a new king and the early they embrace the realities, the better.

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