Breaking: Traders in A’Ibom Sentence to 3months imprisonment
In a bid to curb the menace of road side trading in Akwa Ibom State, the sanitation Court sitting in Uyo on Friday May 10, 2019, convicted not fewer than 12 road side traders for blocking access roads, displaying wares on Pedestrians/ Recreational grounds and selling at unauthorized locations within Ibom Plaza in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State capital.
During the Prosecution, the accused persons pleaded guilty of trading at unauthorised locations and littering of environment, which are environmental offences under section 4(M) and Punishable under Section 38 of Akwa Ibom State public Health Law cap. 103 Vol. 5 of 2000.
On the pronouncement of the charges by the Court Clerk, the presiding Magistrate sentenced all those who pleaded guilty to 3months imprisonment with an option of fine, while the case those who pleaded not guilty were adjourned till May 27, 2019. These are strong indications that the Akwa Ibom State Government is determined to make the environment clean and safe for her indigenes and residents.
Recall that on Tuesday, April 30, 2019 during a coordinated operation of the Akwa Ibom State Environmental Protection and Waste Management Agency’s Task force within Uyo, more than 10victims were apprehended and prosecuted for indiscriminately dumping of refuse within the State Capital Territory.
Last month, the Waste management Boss – Hon Prince Ikim had repeatedly warned all citizens and indigenes of the State against indiscriminate dumping of refuse. In addition, 7days Ultimatum which ended on April 9, was also issued to road side Traders within Ibom Plaza to relocate to the lock up stalls and market shades inside Ibom plaza market for free flow of vehicles on the roads, all these fail on deaf ears.
“The environmental law stipulates that refuse can only be disposed at designated areas and whoever dumps refuse or waste anywhere apart from the designated areas must be prosecuted. All road side traders within Ibom plaza must relocate to the Plaza market. Taxi and keke drivers must have dust bins in their vehicles, if we catch anyone littering the streets from a vehicle of any sort (private or public) such person(s) has violated the state environmental law and will be made to face the full weight of law” He added.
The general public is therefore requested to respect the policies of the State Government on environmental protection and Waste management. All refuse must be bagged and disposed between 6pm and 6am.
Meanwhile, the Agency has commenced the replacement of damaged receptacles within Uyo metropolis with new dumpsters that will accommodate much wastes.
Emma Amadie Akpabio