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Kogi Assembly seals Dangote Cement factory

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By LIZZY OKOJI

LOKOJA- The Kogi House of Assembly on Wednesday sealed the Dangote Cement factory, Obajana, following agitation by Kogi indigenes on the questionable circumstances surrounding the acquisition of the company.

The lawmakers ordered the closure of the facility after an investigation into its operations allegedly revealed that no valid acquisition took place for the company.

Jubilant youths, who had trooped to the company on hearing the news of the closure, attrmpted chasing workers away, but were stopped by Kogi government officials, who promptly waded into the matter to avoid damage.

The youths claimed that the company had neglected the host community from where it had been making billions, in spite of the fact that residents were dying from illnesses resulting from pollution.

The state legislature alleged that Dangote, upon invitation by the Assembly, requested for more time but did not appear at the House to show any evidence to the contrary.

Mr Kingsley Fanwo, the state Commissioner for Information, while responding to journalists, said: “Pursuant to the Constitutional authorities of the Kogi State House of Assembly, and upon petition by the people of Kogi State, an investigation was carried out on the acquisition of Obajana Cement Company by Dangote Company.

“It was found that no valid acquisition took place, as Dangote could not show evidence of what was paid as consideration for the acquisition.

“The legislators invited the Chairman of the Company, Aliko Dangote, before the House for explanations but he failed to appear before the State Assembly, giving excuses.

“The House of Assembly therefore ordered the closure of the company pending when they are able to present it with credible evidence of a valid acquisition,” Fanwo said.

The Director-General, Lands, Mr Nasir Ochi, also said: “In this regard, the security agencies were directed to give effect to the Resolution.

“Similarly, the various organs of Government were also informed about this Resolution.

“By law, Kogi State House of Assembly can conduct investigation, order anyone to appear before it or produce any document. Failure to obey such summons may lead to the arrest of a person who failed to appear.

“The Government of the State has an obligation to also respect and give effect to such Resolution from the House in the interest of peace and security of the State, and to avoid anarchy or breakdown of law and order.

“In this regard, Dangote has an obligation to respect and also give effect to the Resolution of the Kogi State House of Assembly to avoid any act of lawlessness,” Nasir said. (NAN)

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