By Osaigbovo Iguobaro Benin
Stakeholders in Edo state on Thursday criticised the state governor, Godwin Obaseki for shutting down Obu mine site located at Okpilla community in Etsako East Local Government Area of the state.
The stakeholders described the move as an act of impunity and disobedience to court order.
Edo State governor, Godwin Obaseki on Wednesday led Brigadier-General Ibrahim Garba, Commander, 4-Brigade, Nigerian Army, Johnson Kokumo, Commissioner of police, Edo State, government officials and security personnel to seal up Obu mine site and arrested officials of BUA International limited for violating a stop work order by the federal ministry of Mine and Steel Development.
Responding, the governor’s action, the Edo state chairman of Conference of Registered Political Parties (CRPP), Samson Isibor, noted that the governor acted against court order.
Isibor stated that competent court order superseded that of the merely directive by the federal ministry of Mine and Steel Development, Kayode Fayemi on stop work order on BUA cement in the state.
“While I support government for its action for security purpose of maintaining law and order for the protection of lives and property in the state, the government should respect the law of the land, moreso, when a party went to court to get order for the maintenance of status quo.
“And I think the government that believe in the rule of law should also abide by the court order because the order supersede the minister mere order of stop of work order. The BUA order was from a competent court. From the federal high court in Benin-City, which has a competent jurisdiction. The court has given an order that the status quo should be maintained.
“The court on December 5, 2017, also threatened to invoke its disciplinary power to stop the federal ministry of mine and steel development if it continue to infer free with the BUA’s mining rights”, he said.
While urging the governor to maintain absolute neutrality on the matter, he however urged the management of BUA to institute a legal action against the state government and security operatives that invade the company premises and enforce the federal government directive.
“We believe that the action of the governor was uncalled for and he is using undue power process to close down BUA, and the management of BUA should gone ahead and institute a case against the state governor for disobeying the order of the court.