Ogbaru Community in Anambra State has dragged Julius Berger Nigeria Plc before the Federal High Court in Awka, alleging a violation of Environmental Impact Assessment in the construction of the 2nd Niger Bridge.
Also joined as defendants in the suit are the Federal Ministry of Works and B and Q Dredging.
The community is seeking N2.5bn as damages for the alleged environmental and health hazards arising from the activities of the respondents in the construction of the bridge.
The plaintiff claimed that more than 160 buildings from 15 communities in the Ogbaru Council Area on the coastal line of the River Niger had been adversely affected by the ongoing construction, which passed through Asaba to Ogbaru and stretched to Obosi.
The community claimed that the activities of the construction company had polluted River Niger, their only source of water supply, with attendant negative impact on aquatic and domestic lives.
They sought a court order to compel the defendants to recognise, deal and negotiate all terms and conditions of works with the Ogbaru Local Government Area chairman in respect of the project being constructed.
When the matter came up before Justice I.B. Gafai on Tuesday, neither the defendants nor their counsel were in court.
Justice Gafai said the court would not proceed in the matter without the presence of the defendants and fixed September 29, 2020 for commencement of hearing.