December 2, 2023

Edo State Accredited Waste Managers Lose at Court of Appeal

…powers of Edo State Waste Management Board cut to size.

The Court of Appeal, Benin Judicial Division has dismissed an appeal by the Edo State Waste Management Board that had asked the court to declare it as the body with the sole mandate to evacuate waste in the state.

According to a report signed by the Interim Public Relations Officer of the Edo Civil Society Organisations (EDOCSO), Leftist Aliyu Umweni, the Court of Appeal also ruled that the Board lack the powers to accredit and impose waste managers on citizens.

Mr Umweni wrote that “Judgement was delivered Thursday 18/11/2021 by Justice Sir Biobele Abraham Georgewell on behalf of other two justices of Appeal Court in suit No. Appeal No CA/B/476/2018

“The justice ruled in favour of Edo people aligning himself with the judgement of the lower court, that Edo state government, Edo State Waste Management Board do not have the powers to evacuate waste; that it is solely the duty and responsibility of the local government councils to do so.

“As you may be aware, after losing the case in the lower court, Edo state government and Edo State Waste Management Board approached the appeal court to nullify the judgement of the lower court, that ruled in favour of Edo state people by stating that the evacuation of refuse and any other thing relating to waste and sanitation is solely the duty and responsibility of the local government councils.

“The court also advised the waste managers to venture in other businesses and charged the local government council to rise up to fully take charge in their responsibility with immediate effect.

“Members of Edo Civil Society Organisations have been following the matter since it was instituted in 2018 by Dele Igbinedion Esq at the state high court with Suit No. B/460/2014: Mr. Johnson Obasogie Igbinedion & Anor V. Edo State House of Assembly & Ors and judgement delivered on 26/7/2018.”

He further stated that “Erstwhile government accredited waste managers have been noted for using the mobile courts and and other state machineries to extort, intimidate and oppress the citizens even when they usually fail in rendering services. In many instances, citizens are forced by their mobile courts to either pay for services not rendered or face jail term not less than six months.

“The high handedness, arrogance and insensitivity of the now disbanded accredited waste managers led to the institution of the court case which sought to interrogate their legitimacy thereby leading to their exposure as an illegal bunch acting on a poorly drafted law,” the report concluded.

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