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Farmers sue Lafarge for alleged farmland destruction




A group of farmers under the auspices of United Farmers have sued the multinational cement manufacturer, Lafarge Africa for allegedly destroying their farmlands.

The plaintiffs said their farmland is located adjacent to the Papalanto plants of the firm. The farmers, in suit No. FHC/L/CS/1283/2016 filed at the Federal High Court, Lagos by their counsel, Adebisi Iyaniwura, alleged that Lafarge for some years had recklessly and negligently been discharging waste water from its plants to their farms. These wastes, the farmers said, had destroyed the farms and produce as well as their source of livelihood.

The farmers also claimed that some Lafarge officials had insisted that they would not be compensated by the company unless they dispensed with the services of their lawyers.

In the suit, which is currently before Justice Jude Dagat, the farmers joined the Federal Ministry of Environment as 2nd defendant for its refusal to release a copy of the report of the laboratory analysis of specimens taken from the site of the incidence. The analysis, which was carried out by a United Nations-certified laboratory, is in contention because the Federal Ministry of Environment reneged on its earlier undertaking to release the report to all parties.

The farmers are claiming about N100 million as damages and are asking the court to order the Federal Ministry of Environment to release and handover a copy of the laboratory report to them and forward the report to the National Environmental Standards and Regulatory Enforcement Agency (NESREA) for necessary follow-up sanctions against Lafarge.The matter has been adjourned to December 5, 2016 for report of service of originating processes on the defendants.

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Lafarge Africa
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