By Christian Ogbonna
Seventy five persons were arrested for various sanitation-related offences in Ebonyi State during Saturday’s monthly sanitation clean up.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the defaulters, who were arrested in different locations in the capital city, Abakaliki, were tried by the State Environmental Protection Court.
Some of the offenders pleaded guilty, while others pleaded innocent of the charges against them.
Appearing before the Magistrate, the Prosecutor, Mr A .E Awo, told the court that the offenders were caught on streets in Abakaliki over none compliance with the monthly excercise.
According to him, they were caught loitering and idling away without being engaged in the exercise.
“My Lord, there is no way the offenders will say that they were not aware of the monthly sanitation because the notification was well made through various medium,” he added.
The prosecutor noted that the defaulters committed an offence contrary to the Ebonyi Environmental Protection Law 009 of 2015.
The Chief Magistrate, Esther Ezeudu in her ruling, granted the offenders bail in the sum of N8,000 and option of two weeks imprisonment.
“Those that pleaded guilty will pay a sum of N8, 000 while those not guilty will pay the sum of N8, 000 bail and addition of N5, 000 fine or option of two weeks jail,” Ezeudu said.
Mr Sunday Nwonu, Head of Department, Environmental Health, Ministry of Environment in the state, decried the way citizens are neglecting laws of the land.
He reiterated the state government’s commitement to maintainance of clean environment, noting that he was satisfied over the compliance.
“Though , a lot of persons have been arrested for defaulting the law. Over 75 of them, and they are facing the law.
“We must learn to keep our environment clean and maintain hygiene around us. The state has commenced the monthly sanitation.
“On evacuation of refuse, we have mobilised trucks and labourers. The citizens should always see sanitation as way of life,” he advised. (NAN)