No fewer than 24 Magistrate and Mobile Courts have been enlisted by the Lagos State Judiciary to adjudicate on cases of waste bill defaulters and other environmental sanitation offences, including waste dumping.
Making this known at the meeting of the Association of Waste Managers of Nigeria, AWAMN in Lagos on Tuesday, lawyer to the Association, Mr. David Fadile, said in response to a letter of complaint by the Association about the huge outstanding waste bills not paid by customers to the operators and the continuous infraction on environmental sanitation offences by residents without adequate enforcement, the Lagos State Chief Judge, Justice Kazeem Alogba, has approved and dedicated 24 magistrate and Mobile courts across the state for the trial of offenders.
He listed the courts to include Court 4, Epe in the Epe Magisterial District; Court 4, Yaba; Court 6, Ebute-Metta; Court 4, Surulere and Court 2, Mushin in the Yaba Magisterial District. Court 7, Apapa, in the Apapa Magisterial District, Court 4, Ikorodu in the Ikorodu Magisterial Duistrict, Court 3, Badagry in the Badagry Magisterial District, Courts 9, 18 and 20, Ogba and Court 2, Ogudu, all in the Ikeja Magisterial District and Courts 6 and 10, Igbosere and Court 4, Tinubu in the Lagos Magisterial District, and Court 2, Eti-Osa in Etio-Osa Magisterial District.
Others, according to Fadile, which are special offences courts, include Mobile Courts Nos. 1- 6, Oshodi, Ikeja, Environmental Court No. 6, Ikeja, and Correctional Centre Court, Ikoyi. He appealed to residents to endeavour to always pay their waste bills to avoid being taken to court for sanctioning.
Fadile told the PSP Operators that the courts have jurisdictions on environmental sanitation offences and fee recovery, stating that the courts were to handle cases relating to waste fee recovery and indiscriminate dumping of waste.
He charged members to take advantage of the new development, sue and recover their unpaid fees once they have the evidence of servicing such a customer.
“The new initiative,” Fadile further told the waste managers, “is meant to empower you, enhance and sustain your businesses,” asking them to work stridently to meet the expectations of government for a cleaner Lagos while advising the residents to always patronise the PSP operators as they have no other means of taking their waste for disposal.
According to him, not patronising the operators is an environmental offence as waste dumping is highly frowned at by the law, warning that anyone taken before any of the designated magistrate courts with the evidence of not patronising the operators would have to say where and how he or she disposes his or her waste “and if found that you are involved in waste dumping, it’s a serious environmental offence.”
AWAMN President, Mr. David Oriyomi, congratulated members, describing the new development as most pleasing while asking members to rededicate themselves to their service and explore the opportunity presented by the new development if they are not paid for their services.
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