Oyo Task Force Arrests 4,000 Environmental Offenders, Generates N30m as Fines

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By Modupe Gbadeyanka

No fewer than 4,000 environmental offenders have been apprehended by the Oyo State Environmental Task Force since its creation.

This disclosure was made by the Chairman of the organisation, Mr Ojomo Francis, during a chat on Wednesday in Ibadan, the state capital.

He explained that some of the offenders were committed to community service after trial, while others paid fines to the tune of N30 million to the coffers of the Oyo State Government.

Mr Ojomo, who is also the Waste Enforcement Officer, urged the public to obey the environmental laws of the state, stressing that this will sustain the healthiness and good neighbourliness in the society.

He added that item 11 of the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations places a premium on sanitation and a sustainable environment.

Mr Ojomo appealed to Nigerians, especially residents of Oyo State, to pay attention to cleaning their environment, as the Task Force is watching everyone, reiterating the commitment of the state government towards ensuring a healthy and safe environment.

“This is not the first time we have appealed to members of the public to obey our environmental laws so that we will have sustained peace and health in our society.

“Item 11 of the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations places a premium on sanitation and a sustainable environment. We do not need to attend any formal school to take care of our environment in our interest,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Oyo State Environmental Protection Tribunal, sitting in Ibadan on Wednesday, convicted five offenders for violating environmental laws in the state.

The Chairman of the Tribunal, Mr Jubreel Kareem, while speaking with journalists, disclosed that during monitoring in Ibadan, the five offenders were arrested.

He said two of the offenders, Olanrewaju Deola and Funmilayo Ayoola, were found disposing of wastes illegally at unauthorized places; they also failed to provide a standard refuse drum contrary to Oyo State Environmental Laws, 2013.

The persons admitted to having committed the offences and were convicted to three months of imprisonment or an option of fines of N5,000, N2,500, and N2,500, each.

Another offender, Olabisi Olatunde, who was caught at Preboyes, along UI-Bodija, dumping refuse on the median, pleaded guilty. The tribunal thereafter fined her N7,500.

In the same vein, John Blessing and Ali Sumaiya were caught illegally displaying goods by the roadside at Mokola.

The Tribunal ruled that this is against Section 2 sub-section 14 of the Oyo State Waste Management Law of 2014 and, after that, fined them N2,500 each.

The head of the Tribunal further warned the offenders not to violate the environmental laws of the State henceforth, saying this will serve as a lesson to them and others.

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