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Published On: Tue, Sep 3rd, 2019

Dredging feud: R/Niger sand dealers absolve police of complicity

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By Nosa Akenzua, Asaba

River Niger Sand Dealers in Asaba Delta State have absolved the police of alleged complicity and favouritism in the subsisting feud between the group and their opponents of Sand Dealers Society led by one David Ossai.
David Ossai of the Sand Dealers Multi-Purpose Cooperative Society had last Monday petitioned the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr Mohammed Adamu, alleging failure by the state Commissioner of Police, Adeyinka Adeleke to enforce a Benin Federal High Court Judgement granting members of the group right to dredge banks of the Asaba River Niger.
But in a swift reaction, the Secretary of the River Niger Sand Dealers, Comrade Victor Nnalue while briefing journalists on Monday in Asaba, disclosed that the said Benin Court judgement had expired having been voided by Lagos Court of Appeal judgement.
He said that the Appeal Court judgement granted the Federal Ministry of Mines and Power the authority to issue dredging licenses as against the National Inland Waterways Authority ( NIWA) where the said David Ossai and his group obtained their outdated licenses, and referred to a letter to the Commissioner of Police, Delta state by their legal representative, Mr Chris Ebu which was dated July 22,2019 whereby they urged the Police boss to disregard an application to issue David Ossai and his group Policemen to enforce the said stale Judgement by the Benin Federal High Court.
The lawyer in the said letter stated that”in FHC/B/15, 259/2008-River Niger Sand Dealers Multi-Purpose Cooperative Society limited Vs Engineer Emmanuel Aguda and others , the Federal High Court upheld that the Minister of Mines had the power to issue licenses for Sand dredging “, adding that the decision was upheld by the Court of Appeal in Lagos in CA/B/589/2008 National Inland Waterways Authority Vs Construction Support Nigeria Limited.
They stated that the River Niger Sand Dealers obtained their licenses from the appropriate authourity and had been carrying out their Sand dredging business peaceful, stressing that the the said David Ossai had no valid license to quarry Sand anywhere in Asaba.
Comrade Victor Nnalue posited that Police were only obeying lawful orders of the court and should not be dredging into enforcing illegality as being canvassed by David Ossai and his group, adding”I want to advise Ossai and his group to approach appropriate authority to obtain quarry license to Operate and stop deceiving police and members of the Public by Parading belated judgement of 2005.

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