The Lagos State Government has approved 24 Magistrate Courts to prosecute environmental defaulters.
President, Association of Waste Managers of Nigeria (AWAMN), David Oriyomi, disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Lagos.
Mr Oriyomi told NAN that the Chief Judge of Lagos State, Honourable Justice Kazeem O. Alogba, gave the approval in a letter sent to the association.
Some of the courts include Court 4, Court 10, Igbosere; and Court 4, Tinubu – all in Lagos Magisterial District.
Also, in Ikeja Magisterial District are Court 9, Court 18, Court 20 in Ogba, and Court 2 in Ogudu, among others.
The approval also included six Mobile Courts, where offenders would be tried on-the-go.
He said the approval was given in May, adding that the association had been visiting the courts to ensure the judges’ collaboration on the directive.
According to him, the approval of the courts to try environmental offenders would support not only the association but also improve the aesthetics of Lagos State.
The president urged residents to patronise the waste managers and pay for services rendered, so as to ensure a cleaner Lagos.
He said the welfare of the members of the association was interwoven with the cleanliness of the state.
According to him, if the operator is well-funded with his equipment and is delivering the services, the entire state will be clean, but once the operator is not effective, it will impact negatively on the environment.
”With the approval of these courts for environmental offences, defaulters will be forced to conform with the requirements of cleanliness.
”Once you pay for the services rendered, the operators will be more efficient in delivering the services.
“The operator will be able to service the loan that he acquired from the bank to purchase trucks that he’s using to service his clients.
”We are happy that the Chief Judge approved the courts and by that token, he has enhanced the cleanliness of the state.
”Most of these diseases come through dirty environment, so it behoves us to keep our environment clean, so as to have healthy citizens and healthy economy,” Oriyomi said.
The Spokesperson of AWAMN, Olugbenga Adebola, said it was now an offence not to patronise the PSP operators or refusing to pay for services rendered.
Mr Adebola said it was compulsory now to patronise and pay the waste managers because since the law has been made, it has put in the care of all assigned PSP operators to collect all the waste generated in Lagos State.
”We are all Lagosians and government is not interested in even prosecuting anybody. The government wants residents to comply with all environmental laws.
”Just as the Bible said, Our Lord is not interested in the death of a sinner, but He wants every sinner to repent and make heaven,” Mr Adebola said.