Members of the Edo Civil Society Organisations (EDOCSO), have threatens to drag Edo State Ministry of Environment to court for violating the court’s judgement barring it from collecting waste from citizens of the state and charging them for it.
President of the group, Comrade Omobude Agho, disclosed this on Monday in Benin, while speaking on the topic: “Edo State Waste Management Board and Related Issues,” to mark the International Human Rights Day.
He said it is condemnable for the ministry to subject the people to hardship and undue harassment in the name of generating revenue for the state by compelling them to always bring their waste to them for evacuation, rather than allowing the individuals to do it themselves.
“For authorities to violate court judgment because they want to generate revenue from citizens is violation of people’s rights and so, we dimmed it fit to discuss the Edo State Waste Management Board and other related issues vis-a-vis the judgment that nullified the activities and the powers of the board.
“For us, we cannot discuss any other issues apart from this because yet, the board still go about harassing citizens with police and threatening to take them to court, causing them a lot of tension and apprehension.
“It is wrong and that is why we came out to seek the way forward and to tell Edo people that we are willing to take all those that have violated the court judgment to court and we are willing to see them go to jail.
“We are using this medium to warn the commissioner for environment to take note that we will not fold our hands and allow his department to oppress the Edo people because they want to generate revenue”, he said.
The co-ordinator of the group called on the Ministry of Environment to respect the Nigerian constitution for the overall interest of the citizens of the state.
“The duty of waste management is the responsibility of the local government as prescribed by the 4 schedule of the 1999 constitution and it should be so and nothing should make it compromise that section of the constitution and the court has declared it sacrosanct and it has upheld it and it must be upheld.
“Our stand is that anybody that tries to violate it whether in any office or any authority, as long as it is not the local government that is doing it, we will take such person to court and we will stand to make sure that the person goes to jail for contempt of court,” he said.
The state commissioner for environment, Mrs. Omua Oni-Okpaku, could not be reached for reaction, as calls made to her mobile phone failed to connect.