By OLUSHOLA BELLO, Lagos –
The management of BUA International Limited has accused Dangote Group Plc of sending false information to the public relating to the dispute between it and BUA, and claiming that they were coming from the Federal Ministry of Mines and Power, when in reality the information are fabricated.
In a statement yesterday, in which BUA accused Dangote of acting out of desperation, it raised the alarm over alleged new set of publications, actions and tactics by Dangote Plc and its staff which have been falsely attributed to the Federal Government, seeking to achieve what they couldn’t get through legal means or their “connections in Government”.
The statement read in part, “We therefore wish to draw the attention of the general public, investing public and other stakeholders to these new set of malicious and misleading information which are in fact, being cooked up in the offices of Dangote Plc.
“These publications have, at various times, been falsely attributed to pronouncements made by the Federal Government represented by the Ministry of Mines. BUA is now in possession of emails amongst other documents detailing a calculated attempt by Dangote Group to discredit and undermine BUA’s operations whilst painting a false picture to their stakeholders and the general public.”
The statement stated that “BUA remains in possession of the mining areas covered by its mining leases 18912 and 18913 in Obu, Okpella, Edo State and despite Dangote’s concerted campaign at misinforming the public, BUA continues to exercise its rights to operate the licenses in line with the court’s pronouncements that status quo be preserved.”
It also disclosed that despite Dangote’s insistence that there is no court pronouncement that status quo be preserved, transcripts by their lawyers from the latest court deliberation at the Federal High Court sitting in Benin on December 5, 2017, show that the courts not only insisted that status quo be maintained but also sternly warned the Minister and the Ministry of Mines from taking any actions that will undermine its pronouncements on maintaining status quo.
BUA called on relevant agencies including but not limited to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), EFCC, and the Nigerian Police amongst others to investigate thoroughly these actions, which have crossed the boundaries of anti-trust and are very anti-competitive in nature.
According to the statement, BUA is under no illusions that these attacks will stop nor are we able to comprehend why it is difficult for a good corporate citizen as they claim to be, to respect the rule of law and wait for the judicial process to take its rightful course.
“BUA insists on respect for the judicial process and would expect Dangote Group, as a publicly listed company and their cohorts to do same. Only through this can we show the outside world, investing public and other stakeholders that indeed, Nigeria is ready for business and competition can thrive in a free, fair and equitable environment devoid of fear, impunity, unfair competitive advantage or bias.”
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