A group of anti-corruption activists, on Tuesday, held a mass rally against what it described as fraudulent take-over of Obajana Cement by Dangote Group.
The activists, under the aegis of Mass Action Against Corruption, accused the company of economic exploitation and terrorism against innocent Nigerians in Kogi.
Speaking on behalf of the group, Cecilia Ikechukwu, said “Alhaji Aliko Dangote fraudulently acquired Obajana Cement Company without any evidence of payment for the said 90% of shares from the state government”.
“The recent revelation that all of these contractual obligations were not met by Dangote Industries Limited, yet claimed full ownership of the Obajana Cement Company, can be described as the greatest fraud of the century,” Ikechukwu added.
“The Technical Committee setup by the state government to unravel the ownership of the Obajana Cement Company highlighted this much. And the findings were mind-boggling. It must be noted that the mining certificate for Obajana Cement Company belongs to the Kogi State government. There is no evidence that the Kogi State government transferred ownership of the mining sites to Dangote Industries.
“There is also no evidence that for the alleged 90% transfer of shares of Obajana Cement to Dangote Industries, there was any form of payment to the state government for the alleged acquisition.
“The only known contribution of Dangote Industries to the Obajana Cement was sourcing funding for the project using documents belonging to the Kogi State government. It is, therefore, our considered opinion that it was indeed a case of fraudulent acquisition, and it must be reversed immediately.
“We salute the courage of the Kogi State House of Assembly for instituting this probe, which from all intent and purposes, was done in good faith in reclaiming the commonwealth of the Kogi people from the exploitative Alhaji Aliko Dangote and his partners in crime”.
The group, therefore, called on the Federal Government to stand with the “state in this clear case of fraudulent acquisition of a state government property and the attendant exploitation over several years”.
Ikechukwu added, “We believe that Alhaji Aliko Dangote should be able to provide evidence that he paid monies to the Kogi State government for Obajana Cement. And if he can’t provide such proof, Obajana Cement’s ownership must revert automatically to the state government”.
The activists, however, advised Dangote to desist from any form of tyranny against the government and people of Kogi state, adding that his antics of promoting violence across the state have been noted and documented for onward transmission to the relevant security agencies in the country.
Ikechukwu said, “We are in total agreement with the Kogi State government for payment of all outstanding liabilities and compensation to Kogi State and the full ownership of Obajana Cement. All well-meaning Nigerians must resist the economic exploitation of Alhaji Aliko Dangote.
The commonwealth of the people of Kogi State must be returned to the state, and Alhaji Aliko Dangote must be prosecuted for economic and financial crimes in the fraudulent acquisition of Obajana Cement.
“We call on President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure justice is served in this fraud and horrendous exploitation case. We also call on the National Assembly to support the Kogi State House of Assembly in ensuring that the wrong committed by Alhaji Aliko Dangote in Kogi State is reversed with immediate effect.
”We salute the courage displayed by the Executive Governor of Kogi State, Alhaji Yahaya Bello. He is the epitome of passion and commitment to service. His bravery and dedication to the cause of the state are commendable.”.