…The truth and lies you need to know
The claim by BUA Group that Dangote Group is trying to create a monopoly in the Cement Industry in Nigeria has been punctured by documents filed in a Court of law in a recent suit.
The documents revealed that Dangote’s interest and title in the dispute; Mining Lease is legitimate and was acquired through due process of law.
According to investigations, the battle for the ownership of Mining Lease No. 2541 started long before the Dangote Group came into the picture as far as its acquisition of the said Mining Lease No. 2541 is concerned.
“It is therefore wrong and misleading to suggest as being done by the BUA Group that Dangote Group is out to undermine BUA’s operations. “For those who care to know the truth, the dispute over the Mining Lease dates back to the days of Ukpilla Cement Company Limited which later metamorphosed into Edo Cement Company Limited.
“The Mining Lease No. 2541 was then known as Mining Lease No. 17825 and has always been owned by AICO Ado Ibrahim & Co Limited.
“Even before the advent of BUA, Ukpilla Cement had indeed acknowledged on several occasions AICO’s ownership of the Mining Lease No. 17825, which was granted as far back as in 1974 and when the then Governor of Edo State at the time attempted to carve out the Mining Lease Nos. 18912 and 18913, which fall within the then existing Mining Lease No. 17825 belonging to AICO, the defunct Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources (which gave birth to the present Ministry of Mines and Steel Development) wrote to the Governor as far back as in 1993 directing it not to grant the said mining leases as they overlap with AICO’s then existing Mining Lease No. 17825 (now 2541),” the documents indicated.
The available documents equally showed that the same illegal Mining Leases Nos. 18912 and 18913, which were granted in error, formed the basis of BUA’s claim to ownership of mining lease in the disputed mining site.
Even BUA, in its process in Court, according to the document, acknowledged that these illegal mining leases, which it claim were granted in 1997 were temporary mining leases.
The document further indicated that “Beyond the issue of temporary nature of the BUA’s Mining Leases, they were illegally granted in the first place as they were granted by the Governor of Edo State, who lacked the power to grant Mining Lease even though BUA has documents, which purport to show that the Minister of Mines signed the mining lease.
“Of course, like they often say, one cannot put something on nothing and expect it to stand and the documents being paraded by BUA as emanating from the Ministry has been described to be illegal, null and void by the same Ministry,” it stated.
We learned through the document that prior to the enactment of the Mining Act, 2007, the then Minister for Solid Minerals under Olusegun Obasanjo’s regime, Dr Oby Ezekwesili, sometime in 2006, waded into the dispute and invited the managements of Edo Cement Company Limited and AICO Ado Ibrahim & Company Limited for a meeting.
It stated further that in the course of the meeting, the then Minister again queried the legality of Mining Lease Nos 18912 and 18913 and the power of the Governor of Edo State to grant such mining leases. “At the end of the Meeting, the Minister declared the Edo Cement’s Mining Leases Nos. 18912 and 18913 illegal and declared the mining site open for interested investors.
“Given that AICO’s then existing Mining Lease No. 17825 was yet to be renewed even though application for renewal was pending, AICO in 2007 (under the Mining Act, 2007) applied for the fresh Mining Lease No. 2541 and the Ministry granted it in 2008 without any objection from Edo Cement Company.
“AICO continued its mining operations in the Mining Lease No. 2541 undisturbed until BUA Group acquired Edo Cement Company Limited and resuscitated the dispute again.
“It was the attempt by BUA to encroach on AICO’s mining title in Mining Lease No. 2541 that prompted AICO to write to the Ministry in 2015 complaining of BUA’s encroachment,” the document revealed.
We learned further that the Ministry, after investigation in the same 2015 by the letter dated 21 January 2015, wrote to the Chairman of BUA Group directing BUA to stop mining within the ML. No. 2541.
“It was this same letter from the Ministry that prompted BUA to file a Suit at the Federal High Court Benin in 2016.
“BUA in the said Suit continued to maintain that it has Temporary Mining Leases ML. 18912 and 18913 both dated 24 October 1997, which it claims are located in Obu-Okpella, Etsako East Local Government Area of Edo State and only recently amended their claim to state that the BUA group now has full Mining Leases signed by the then Minster of Solid Minerals Development, Alhaji Mohammed Kaloma Ali even though the said Mining Leases are still predicated on the illegal Mining Nos 18912 and 18913 created by then Governor of Edo State who lacked the power to do so.
“Why BUA waited this long to come up with these questionable Mining Lease documents is a puzzle that is yet to be resolved but one thing is certain – the said Mining Leases have their root in illegality as confirmed by the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development having being granted in error and in respect of existing Mining Lease belonging to AICO then and now Dangote, the document read.
This campaign of calumny and playing to the gallery to wipe up a badly bruised underdog sentiments did not start today against Aliko according to sources, in 2016, in a 4-page advertorial on March 14th, 2016 in Thisday, Business day and Leadership Newspapers, BUA group alleges an act of sabotage against Dangote Group through a crony under the pen name; David Osa-Ighodalo.
When the advertorial hit the newstand, Samad pretended as if he knew nothing about it but it was later revealed that the advert was sponsored and paid for by BUA Group.
What worries most observers is the pretence love of the owner of BUA Group, Samad Rabiu for Aliko Dangote in public, while allegedly harbouring a deadly bile inside.
What most people close to these two eminently blessed personalities are saying is that they that Samad should see the accomplishments of Dangote as the work of providence rather than competing with him. They made it clear to him that most things that happen in life have been ordained by God and that he should have studied the upward movements of Dangote and see how he could also move forward rather than being envious.
They believe that Samad was being petty by his actions and that the time has come for his likes to agree that Dangote deserves whatever God is doing for him now as he has paid his dues over the years,” said a concerned individual.
An observer emphasized that Samad has only displayed the kind of character he is made of, while advising him to channel his energy to more productive ventures that could help his business rather than “seeking the downfall of a man like Dangote, who has become the pride of Africa and even the black race all over the world.”
Dangote Group, he said, has come up with innovative products that have made life easy and better for the people, adding that he is a blessing to the country, Africa and indeed the whole world with “his creative, people-oriented and relevant products that have stood the test of time.”
Samad is a movie buff, who has also done very well for himself and his family, though unlike Aliko who started his business in a very modest way,Samad built on his legendary father’s huge financial strength and now owns two private jets-Golf Stream G 550 worth $44.9 Million as well as $18 Million Legacy Aircraft, owns a Bentley and Aston Martin cars in London.
“He is almost in the same line of business with the richest man in Africa, Alhaji Aliko Dangote.
“He owns Sokoto Cement, Okpela Cement in Edo State, a floating cement ship in water, flour mills in Lagos and Kano, vegetable oil mills in Kano and Lagos and also a sugar refinery.
“He is a concessionaire of a part of the port in Port-Harcourt, Rivers State, biggest vegetable oil manufacturer in West Africa, owns the largest shares in privatized Delta Steel.
“He ought to be grateful to God for all these and stop looking for what is not lost” said a source.