The Sand Miners Association of Anambra State has embarked on a protest against the National Inland Waterways Authority.

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The association revealed that they had slammed a N4.5bn lawsuit on NIWA after accusing the agency of deliberate refusal to obey a court order restraining it from disturbing its operations.

Some of the placards read, “NIWA all the millions you collect from us as right of way fee; is it not enough? Sand miners of Anambra State are law-abiding people; NIWA emulates us. NIWA you have lawyers; they are in a better position to advise your managing director over court orders.”

It was gathered that the association had dragged NIWA to a Federal High Court sitting in the state presided over by Justice B.O. Quadri, through their lawyer, Mr Gerald Ezeuko, SAN, and secured a restraining order against NIWA, in a Suit No. FHC/AWK/C/46/2020, over alleged imposition and demand of access fee and sand toll levies.

Protesting on Wednesday, the Chairman of the association, Chris Mbaegbu, said they decided to embark on the protest for NIWA to obey court order.

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He said, “As a Federal Government agency, NIWA should show example to Nigeria by obeying the court order.

“The Federal High Court Awka has restrained them from further collecting the levies from us pending the determination of the suit.

“They ignored the court order and have been coming to our sandpits to disturb us and tipper drivers over the same levies the court restrained them from collecting.”

When contacted NIWA Area Manager, Mrs Queen Uba, said NIWA as a Federal Agency had stayed away from sand miners’ pits following the court order, pending the determination of the suit.