Law News
Mining licence: Court summons minister
Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Mr. Musa Sada

A Federal High Court in Abuja has ordered the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, and four others to appear before it on Wednesday over a dispute on a mining lease agreement on a site in Agbaja, Ebonyi State.

Also ordered to appear before the court on the same day are the other defendants in the suit: Jidech Mining Company Nigeria Limited, its Managing Director, E. N. Ezedebego; Greenex Resources, and the Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development.

A firm, Eze-Chuks Standard Link Limited, which instituted the suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/957/14, is challenging the purported sale of the mining site covered by the Mining Lease Certificate No: ML2280 (formerly ML17228) held by it, to a third party, Greenex Resources Limited.

The trial judge, Justice Ahmed Mohammed, had last week after the plaintiff’s counsel, Prof. Yemi Akinseye-George (SAN), moved an ex-parte application for interim injunctions, ordered the defendants to appear in court on December 17.

The court ordered them to appear in court to “show cause why the interim orders of injunction being sought by the plaintiff vide the motion ex-parte filed on December 5 should not be made by the court.”

The judge also directed that all originating processes in the suit, including the plaintiff’s pending motion for an order of interlocutory injunction and the motion ex-parte for interim injunctions, should be served on the defendants.

Justice Mohammed, who relied on the provision of Order 26, Rules 10 and 13 of the Federal High Court (Civil procedure) Rules 2009, in making the orders, equally directed that hearing notices be issued on the defendants, who are expected to appear before the court on Wednesday.

Eze-Chuks Standard stated in its statement of claim that it entered into mining Sub-Lease Agreement with Jidech Mining in 2011 to operate and mine solid minerals on the site located at Mkpuma/Akpatakpa Village in Agbaja Community, Izzi Local Government, Ebonyi State.

The company’s stated through its lawyer, Prof. Yemi Akinseye-George (SAN), that the SLA was covered by the Mining Lease: ML 2280.

The plaintiff added that in pursuance of Clause 2(vi) of the SLA, the 1st defendant (Jidech) on December 8, 2012, sold its mining rights and interests over the site to it (the plaintiff) for N30m. It exhibited a receipt issued to it by Jidech to that effect.

It said it was surprised to learn in 2013, after expending huge funds in developing the site to a profitable state and settlement of debts and financial commitments made to institutions and the host community by Jidech, that Ezedebego and his company (Jidech) had purportedly sold the site to a third party, Greenex, in violation of the provisions of the SLA of 2011, which allowed it (the plaintiff) the first right of purchase.

Eze-Chuks is praying the court to void the purported sale of the site to Greenex, declare that it (Eze-Chuks) is entitled to purchase the site.

It also seeks to restrain the defendants from giving effect to the purported sale.

In the alternative, it wants the court to order the defendants to pay it (the plaintiff) about N2bn being the funds it had expended in developing the site, other expenses and special and general damages.

The plaintiff also seeks a perpetual injunction restraining the 3rd defendant (Greenex Resources) and its agents from mining or carrying out any mining related activities on the mining site.

Click here to read from source.