2nd Niger bridge: Anambra community demands N2.5b damage from FG, Julius Berger, other

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Ogbaru community in Anambra has dragged Julius Berger Nigeria PLC, Federal Ministry of Works and B and Q Dredging before a Federal High Court, Awka Division over violation of Environmental Impact Assessment on the construction of the second Niger bridge.

The plaintiff are seeking the order of the court for the defendants to pay them sum of N2.5 billion as damages for environmental hazards, and health hazards arising from the activities of the trio.

The plaintiffs are Messrs: Victor Okei, Chidi Ekpendu, Engr. Nwachukwu Ossai, Chief Anthony Okwesa and Chief Emmanuel Ikenga who sued for themselves and on behalf of Ogbaru community, Ogbaru council area in Anambra.

When the suit with filed number FHC/AWK/CS/79/2019 before Justice I.B. Gafai of Federal High Court one was mentioned on Tuesday in Awka, neither the three defendants nor their counsel were in court.

Gafai said there was no how the court would proceed in the matter without the presence of the defendants and fixed Sept.29, 2020 for the commencement of hearing in a suit.

He said that before the next adjourned date, effort must be made to reach Julius Berger Nigeria PLC, Federal Ministry of Works and B and Q Dredging.

The plaintiff counsel, Mr Ifeanyi Chuks who appeared with Augustine Chuks said that the defendants were served relevant court summons, adding, `that they were tactically avoiding the court to continue suppression of his clients ’’.

Ogbaru people are also claiming that more than 160 buildings from 15 communities in Ogbaru council area on the coastal line of the River Niger have been adversely affected by the ongoing construction of the second Niger Bridge which passed through Asaba to Ogbaru and stretched to Obosi area.

The plaintiff further alleged that the activities of the construction company have polluted the River Niger, the only source of water supply with attendant negative impact on aquatic and domestic lives as well as desecrate graves of people buried in the area.

The plaintiff are equally seeking for the order of the court to compel the defendants to recognize, deal and negotiate all terms and conditions of works with the Ogbaru Local Government Chairman in respect of the project being constructed.

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