FG probes illegal mining sites in Benue

The Minister of Solid Minerals development, Dr Dele Alake, has vowed to ensure thorough investigation of alleged illegal mining in Benue state, asserting that those found culpable will face the full wrath of the law.

The minister spoke on Friday after listening to submissions from representatives of affected mining operators and relevant Mines Inspectorate officials from the state. 

It could be recalled that some weeks ago, a video of 15 trucks laden with minerals alleged to be uranium and extracted from Kwande local government area of the state went viral. 

Following that incident, the minister ordered discreet investigations by the Mines Inspectorate which indicated that the video was the result of inter-firm rivalry over control of mining sites.

This prompted the minister to summon relevant stakeholders from the state to get a true perspective of the situation. 

After listening to all submissions, the minister noted discrepancies in the account divulged by representatives of the communities, the operators and Mines Inspectorate officials and vowed to ensure painstaking investigations in order to bring to book everyone that might have run foul of the law.

“I have listened to all submissions and noted the discrepancies in presentations by operators and stakeholders. We would thoroughly investigate all issues related to the incident and any operator found culpable would have their licences revoked and if some of our officials also connived to perpetrate sharp practices, they would equally be made to face the full weight of the law,” Alake said.