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Illegal Mining: Anambra Community Alleges Plan To Sabotage Probe

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Oba Community in Idemili South Local Government Area, Anambra State, on Thursday, raised the alarm over alleged plans by some individuals in the Anambra State House of Assembly to sabotage investigations on illegal sand mining at the defunct Oba Airport site, threatening the community.

The Regent of Oba community, Prince Noel Ezenwa, while addressing newsmen, expressed satisfaction with the effort so far made by the State House Assembly, which ordered the arrest and bringing to the floor of the Anambra State House, the sand miner involved in the alleged illegal sand mining, but said the community was alarmed that some lawmakers are working tirelessly to sweep the matter under the carpet for pecuniary interest.

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“We must commend the State House of Assembly for the good work they started on this matter by arresting and bringing the culprit to the floor of the House, for questioning on the illegal sand mining at the defunct Oba Airport site, threatening the existence of our community, but we must say that we are disappointed with the shameful efforts of the lawmaker trying to scuttle the investigations.

“Oba community had repeatedly pleaded with the proprietor of Oyotraco, Mr Osita Agina, who is also from Oba, to stop his illegal sand mining activities threatening the entire community, but he ignored us

“We wrote to the Minister of Environment, Mrs Sharon Okeazor and the Idemili North and South Federal Constituency representative in the House of Representative, Hon. Obinna Chidioka and the two visited the site and were alarmed at the devastation caused by the erosion that resulted from the sand mining activities of Agina, and they promised to talk to the state government, to stop him, but nothing came out of their visits.

“We, therefore, petitioned the Anambra State House of Assembly and they discussed the matter at the floor of the House, invited him several times, but he ignored them, then the lawmakers through a motion raised by their Chief Whip,

Ordered the Anambra State Commissioner of Police to arrest and produce him to the House, an order that was announced in Anambra State Broadcasting Service, ABS.

“He was, however, arrested by the Police on Monday 31st August 2020 and brought to the House of Assembly on Tuesday, 1 September 2020, but even before he was brought to the House Assembly for questioning, some people went for his bail, but the Police refused, demanding for a letter from the State Assembly, since, his arrest was on their instruction.

“We gathered that Agina is using his lawmaker friend in one of the House Committee in the State House of Assembly to ensure that the matter was swept under the carpet.

“We are therefore appealing to Speaker Anambra State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Uche Okafor and the Chairman House Committee on Environment, Hon. Eddy Ibuzo ensures that the State lawmakers complete their investigation and come out with a decision on the matter.

“Anambra State House of Assembly cannot be working for a soft landing for somebody who is breaking the law and engaging in activities that are threatening the existence of his own community

“We also call on the Minister of Environment Mrs Ikeazor and Hon. Chidioka, who incidentally is from Obosi, to act now because the erosion being caused by the illegal sand mining is fast eating into Obosi.”

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