A Federal High Court sitting in Lokoja, Kogi State Capital has ordered Dangote Group, Dangote Cement Plc, Obajana Cement Plc, Dangote Industries and their subsidiaries in a judgement against them, to pay the sum of N2,697,125,000 billion in a mining dispute brought against Dangote by a mining firm, Quest Two Enterprises Ltd.
In his judgment, the trial judge Justice Ayua of the Federal High Court, Lokoja averred that the Dangote General Manager, Mr. Victor Mohan, who was also the sole witness admitted under cross-examination that his employers, Dangote Group, effectively shut down operations of the company by dismantling power lines belonging to the company and disrupting their operations. Despite agreeing to pay compensation for these acts to the plaintiffs, the judge also noted that the defendants failed to live up to the terms of the agreement to pay any compensation to the plaintiffs.
The court also dismissed Dangote’s counter-claims that the actions of the plaintiff amounted to trespassing on their mining lease area. He consequently declared that Dangote should pay the sum N2.7billion as damages and issued a Garnishee order Nisi against 21 banks to satisfy the judgment debt.
This new development comes as Dangote is fiercely battling another mining dispute with cement giant, BUA Cement, in which the Chairman of BUA recently wrote an open letter to the President claiming that Dangote in collaboration with the Ministry of Mines & steel illegally entered its Mining areas with a view to disrupting and sabotaging operations at BUA’s Okpella cement plant despite a court order restraining Dangote and the Ministry from claiming and or moving to the site. The cases come up for hearing shortly at the Federal High Court in Benin.