By Emmanuel Afonne
An indigenous quarry firm operating in Ishiagu, Ebonyi, Crushed Rock has dragged the state government to court over alleged “unlawful sealing of its business premises and quarry” for over five months now.
The suit, filed on behalf of the plaintiff’s Company by Mr Mike Ozekhome, SAN, had the Federal Ministry of Mines & Steel Development, the Government of Ebonyi State and the Attorney General of the State, as defendants.
Others defendants are Mr Edwin Onwe, the then Special Assistant to the governor on Solid Minerals and the Ministry of Solid Minerals Development
The firm in a court process obtained by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday stated that it had operated its quarrying business for over 40 years, within the accepted laws of the federal and state governments.
The quarry firm is praying the court, among other demands, for an order mandating Ebonyi government to jointly pay to the Plaintiff, the sum of Five Hundred Million Naira as damages for illegally shutting down its business.
The court processes reveal that the crisis between both parties started in May, 2019, when the state government ordered the firm to re-float the quarry company at Ishiagu, Ivo LGA of Ebonyi, or have the premises sealed up.
The firm is also challenging the state government’s arbitrary increment of the haulage fees and other levies from about N2, 000,000 (two million naira), to N18, 700,000 (eighteen million, seven hundred thousand naira) monthly.
The matter comes up for hearing on July 9, at the Federal High Court Abuja. (NAN)