Environmental Defaulters Sentenced to Prison in Ekiti State for Violating Sanitation Laws
By Fatima Saka
In a recent judgment at an Ado Ekiti magistrate court, thirty individuals who were environmental defaulters faced serious consequences for failing to comply with monthly environmental sanitation laws in Southwestern Ekiti State. The court handed down a verdict of three years imprisonment for each offender.
During the enforcement of the law, goods worth thousands of naira, including perishables like plantains, oranges, yams, and other food items, were confiscated at Okesa and Bisi markets in Ado Ekiti.
The Chief Magistrate, Mrs. Olubunmi Bodunde, declared the defaulters guilty of various offenses and sentenced them to three months imprisonment, offering an alternative option of a five thousand naira fine.
While overseeing the enforcement exercise, the Commissioner for Environment and Natural Resources, Chief Tosin Aluko, expressed disappointment with the behavior of residents and market women who intentionally disregarded the rules of the monthly sanitation exercise.
She recalled that the ministry had previously invited traders at Okesa and Bisi markets to a meeting and issued a warning that displaying goods during the monthly sanitation exercise, typically held on the last Saturday of each month, would not be allowed.
“We have been sensitizing people through radio jingles to desist from contravening environmental laws. Getting to the market after the warning, we are shocked because we met more than five thousand people who came from different local governments to display their goods,” she explained.
The commissioner appealed to all stakeholders in the state to support the government’s efforts to combat poor attitudes toward sanitation exercises.
The Director of Environmental Health and Sanitation in the Ministry, Mr. Tunde Balogun, emphasized that the task force responsible for the monthly exercise would continue to arrest and prosecute any offenders. He urged people to take responsibility for keeping their environment clean by clearing drains and adhering to necessary sanitation practices.
Balogun emphasized that environmental responsibility should be a collective effort, with individuals taking proactive steps to maintain a clean and healthy environment.