The Kogi House of Assembly has sealed the Dangote Cement factory, Obajana, and threatened to arrest its chairman Aliko Dangote for failing to honour the legislature’s invitations.
According to reports, thhe shutdown of the Dangote Cement factory followed agitation by Kogi indigenes on the questionable circumstances surrounding the acquisition of the company.
The lawmakers ordered the facility’s closure on Wednesday, October 5, 2022, after an investigation into its operations allegedly revealed that no valid acquisition took place for the company.
Jubilant youths, who had trooped to the company on hearing the news of the closure, attempted chasing workers away but were stopped by Kogi government officials, who promptly waded into the matter to avoid damage.
The youths claimed that the company had neglected the host community from where it had been making billions, despite residents allegedly dying from pollution-related illnesses.
The legislature alleged that Dangote requested more time upon the assembly’s invitation but did not appear at the House to show any evidence to the contrary.
Kingsley Fanwo, the information commissioner, told journalists, “Pursuant to the constitutional authorities of the Kogi State House of Assembly, and upon petition by the people of Kogi state, an investigation was carried out on the acquisition of Obajana Cement Company by Dangote Company.”
Mr Fanwo added, “It was found that no valid acquisition took place, as Dangote could not show evidence of what was paid as consideration for the acquisition. The legislators invited the chairman of the company, Aliko Dangote, before the house for explanations, but he failed to appear before the state assembly, giving excuses.”
Dangote’s refusal to honour the legislator’s invitation forced the Kogi parliament to order the closure of the company “pending when they are able to present it with credible evidence of a valid acquisition,” Mr Fanwo added.
Nasir Ochi, Kogi’s Lands director-general, mentioned that the Kogi government had directed security agencies to keep the Dangote facility shut.
“Similarly, the various organs of Government were also informed about this resolution. By law, the Kogi State House of Assembly can conduct investigations, order anyone to appear before it or produce any document. Failure to obey such summons may lead to the arrest of a person who failed to appear,” Mr Ochi stressed.
He added, “In this regard, Dangote has an obligation to respect and also give effect to the resolution of the Kogi State House of Assembly to avoid any act of lawlessness.”