No fewer than 24 persons caught defecating in the open and those dumping refuse on the roadways have been arrested and arraigned in a Sanitation Mobile Court sitting in Ado-Ekiti.
Tunde Balogun, the Director for Health and Sanitation in the State Ministry of Environment, on Friday disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ado-Ekiti.
Mr. Balogun said those affected were arrested by men of the State Environmental Health Officers between February and March 22.
NAN reports that those arrested were men and women that are above 18 years of age, while the children were led to their various homes with a warning to their parents and guardians.
Those arraigned in the mobile court were convicted for various offences and sentenced to between one and three months in prison or ordered to pay a fine ranging between N3, 000 and N5, 000.
Mr. Balogun said that prior to the task force operations and arrest, the ministry had embarked on ‘house to house’ sensitisation of the people, especially those living on the major roads across the state.
“We educated them on the danger and health hazard of dumping refuse or defecating in open or on the roadways; this was aside the series of advertisements on both the radio and television stations,” he said.
“Thereafter, the first sanitation mobile court for 2016 was carried out by the joint team of the Task Force and Mobile Court operations.
“Men of the Environmental Health Officers lay ambush as early as 5:30 a.m to apprehend some environmental laws defaulters.
“At least 24 people including those defecating in open places around the towns and those dumping refuse on the roadway were arrested and prosecuted in the mobile court, “Mr. Balogun said.
The director, however, warned residents, who are in the habit of disobeying sanitation laws in Ekiti to desist or be ready to face the wrath of the law.
He said that the environmental task force has commenced operations both in the morning and evening session.
“The morning session starts from 5:30a.m and ends in the afternoon, while evening session commences 6p.m till 10p.m to monitor those disposing refuse in the drains.
“And whoever that is caught will be detained at the police station till the following day when such persons will be arraigned before the mobile court,” he said.