TWENTY persons were arrested on the first day of commencement of the enforcement of environmental sanitation laws in Oyo State.
The arrested persons were picked in morning and afternoon raids by officers of the state Ministry of Environment and Water Resources, on Tuesday, for offences ranging from street trading to dumping of waste on medians and obstruction of arrest of offenders.
A visit by Tribune Online to the ministry office, in Ibadan, on Tuesday showed many offenders on their knees pleading for mercy, others making frantic calls while seized items like pepper, food stuffs, wrist watches, tricycle, motorcycles were in trucks of the ministry.
Some of the persons who were immediately tried by the environmental tribunals set up included Adam Isha, Saminu Salisu, Saudat Yussuf, Idris Yussuff, Babalola Mele, Lateef Banji, Romoke Babalola, Abdullahi Ajaba, Aba Bukar and Lucky Uwasu.
Tiwatope Olalekan, Adedokun Hammed and Sunday Okwe who were charged for obstructing environmental officers in arresting offenders were fined N25,000 each or asked to face a one month prison sentence.
The 13 persons arrested for street trading were asked to pay the sum of N4,000 or N5,000, which some paid, or face a one month prison sentence.
Others like Saudat Yussuf were committed to four hours of community service.
Speaking on the development, Commissioner for Environment and Water Resources, Mr Isaac Ishola, said the intent of the raids and arrests were not ultimately about generating revenue from fines, but to ensure that the people of the state imbibed the culture of environmental cleanliness.
“We don’t want street trading. This is not just because government wants to make revenue. The more we are making from sanitation law violation, the less effective is our enforcement. The intention is for our people to imbibe the culture of good hygiene, good sanitation. We want our people to comply with sanitation laws,” Ishola said.
This article was originally published by Tribune Online in February, 2017.
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