Licensed coal miners in Kogi state have praised the swift response of the state government and the security services in curbing the activities of illegal miners in the state.
In a statement signed by promoters of three mining firms: Dr. Innocent Ezuma, Executive Chairman, Etazuma Mining and Industries Limited; Parthia Ghosh, Managing Director, Kohl’s Energy Limited and Dr. Ramos, Managing Director, Mosra Energy Limited, they called on other states and security agencies to also take up the fight against illegal mining and economic sabotage in the best interest of the economy and security of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“We, the licensed and legal Coal Miners in Kogi State, hereby issue this statement to express our support for, and earnest appreciation to the President of the Federal Government of Nigeria, Alhaji Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the Minster of Solid Mineral Development, Dr. Dele Alake, the Governor of Kogi State, Alhaji Yahaya Adiza Bello and the security agencies, especially the Department of State Services, Kogi State Command, which is coordinating the operation for taking up the fight against economic saboteurs who have the tendency to breed terrorism for leaving no stone unturned to stop the menace of illegal mining with its negative impact on the economy and security of the country.’
“We sincerely hope that the fight will be sustained to the full eradication of illegal mining activities not only in the coal mining sector but in all aspects of mining in Nigeria,” they stated.
Their commendation followed the steps taken following the announcement by Alake of a ban on illegal mining activities by the Federal Government.
The statement said on 18 December 2023, Kogi State Government sprang into action with a corresponding enforcement action by setting up a Joint Taskforce comprising Police, NSCDC, the State Security Service, Federal Mines Office, Kogi State, State Ministry of Solid Minerals and natural Resources and Kogi State Vigilante Service (KSVS).
They said between 18 December 2023 and 7 January 2024, a total of 21 trucks loaded with coal, amounting to 945 tons, “being products of illegal mining were impounded,” adding on 8 January 2024, an application was filed before the Federal High Court, Lokoja seeking an Order of forfeiture of the 945 tons of coal to the Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Solid Minerals Development.
The Federal High Court presided over by Hon. Justice Abdul Dogo, on 18 January 2024, granted an interim forfeiture Order for the 945 tons of coal to the Federal Government of Nigeria.
The Court directed that, the Notice of Order be pasted in public places including Federal High Court, State High Court and various mining sites in Ankpa LGA, where the products were impounded for any interested person to show cause why the Order should not be made absolute/final.
The pasting/publication should be done within seven (7) days after the date of this Order, while the return date for the final Order is 1 February 2024.
According to the statement, the Applicant should file affidavit of compliance with pictures to prove the publication.