A Federal High Court in Abuja has restrained the Kogi State government and its agents from further disrupting the operations of Dangote Cement Plc and its associated companies in the state.
In a ruling yesterday, Justice Binta Nyako also restrained the state government and its agents from further shutting down, disrupting or suspending the activities of Dangote Coal Mines Limited and Dangote Industries Limited located in Ankpa and Olamaboro local government areas of the state.
The ruling was on two ex parte motions filed along with two substantive suits by Dangote Coal Mines Limited, Dangote Industries Limited and Dangote Cement Plc through their lawyer, Ricky Tarfa (SAN).
Listed as defendants in both suits are: the Kogi State House of Assembly, the state’s Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, the Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, Mining Cadastre Office and the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).
While arguing the motions yesterday, the plaintiffs’ lawyer, Regina Okotie-Eboh, told the court that it was important to grant the reliefs sought in view of the threat the activities of the Kogi State government and its agents posed to the companies and the jobs of many Nigerians engaged by the organisations.
Okotie-Eboh said the crux of the matter was the restriction of the operations of the companies, the invasion and disruption of the business by the Kogi State government and its agents.
The lawyer said the closure of the cement factory by the state government and its agents would affect the production of cement in Nigeria and put thousands of jobs at risk.
She claimed that the Kogi State House of Assembly and the state’s Attorney General disrupted cement production despite the fact that they did not have the power to do so.
Justice Nyako, after granting the reliefs sought, ordered the applicants to serve the defendants with the motions on notice within 14 days and adjourned the matter till November 21 for hearing.
Some of the reliefs sought in the motions include: An order of interim injunction restraining the defendants/respondents or any person purporting to act on their behalf from extending the exercise of the first defendant’s oversight functions outside the Concurrent and Residual Legislative List and unto the Exclusive Legislative List of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.