-Blank NEWS Online (NIGERIA):
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 Multi-Purpose Co-operative Society led by David Ossai (aka Jah Dave).
David Ossai of the Sand Dealers Multi-Purpose Co-operative Society recently petitioned the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr. Mohammed Adamu, and addressed the press, alleging failure by the State Commissioner of Police to enforce a Benin Federal High Court judgment 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 also briefing the press, revealed that the said Benin Court judgment had expired, having been voided by a Lagos Court of Appeal judgment, which 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as against the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), where the said Jah Dave and his group obtained their outdated licenses.
He referred to a letter to the Commissioner of Police, Delta State, by their legal representative, Mr. C. F. Ebu, which was dated July 22, 2019, whereby they urged the police boss to disregard an application to issue Jah Dave and his group policemen to enforce the said stale judgment by the Benin Court.
The lawyer, in the said letter stated that “in FHC/B/15,259/2008 – River Niger Sand Dealers Multi-Purpose C0-Operative Society Limited Vs Engineer Emmanuel Aguda and others, the Federal High Court upheld their contention 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, 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 authority and had been carrying out their sand dredging business peacefully without interference.
Speaking further, Comrade Nnalue posited that police were only obeying lawful orders of the court and should not be dragged into enforcing illegality as being canvassed.