Members of Ogbaru Community in Anambra State have dragged construction giant, Julius Berger Nigeria Plc, before the Federal High Court in Awka, over claims that the company has created environmental and health hazards in their area since it commenced the construction of the 2nd Niger Bridge.
In the lawsuit which has the Federal Ministry of Works and B and Q Dredging as co-defendants, the community is seeking N2.5bn as damages. They claim over 160 buildings from 15 communities in the Ogbaru Council Area on the coastal line of the River Niger have been adversely affected by the ongoing construction, which passed through Asaba to Ogbaru and stretched to Obosi.
They also accuse the construction company of polluting the River Niger which is their main source of water supply. They also allege that the activities of the construction company has adversely affected the aquatic life of River Niger.
The community members asked the court to issue an order compelling the defendants to recognize, deal and negotiate all terms and conditions of works with the Ogbaru Local Government Area chairman in respect of the project being constructed.
The matter came up for hearing this morning June 17 but neither the counsel to the plaintiff nor the defendant were in court.
Following the absence of both counsels, the presiding judge, Justice I.B. Gafai then fixed September 29, 2020, for the commencement of hearing of the case.
The 1.6km bridge was initiated under the administration of Goodluck Jonathan and is now being sustained by the Buhari-led administration, The bridge is costing the Federal government a whopping N336 billion.