AEPB increases number of mobile courts in FCT

THE Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) has established more mobile courts to hasten the trial of cases of violation within the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

This was disclosed by the AEPB Director Osilama Braimah, who said the mobile courts had been increased from eight to 13 in a statement released on Wednesday.


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“The increase in the number of Mobile Courts from eight to 13, was done following the approval of the Permanent Secretary, Federal Capital Territory Administration, Mr. Olusade Adesola, to enable us to deal with more cases at every given time,” he said.

He noted that all violations would be tried and dealt with henceforth, including connection of water to the streets, absence of toilets and waste bins in residences, noise pollution, and others.

“Situations that violate environmental laws are also being addressed, especially noise pollution, which has assumed a worrisome dimension in the FCT of recent.

“There have been numerous complaints from residents who can no longer sleep in their houses because of noise emanating from parks, gardens and night clubs. Night clubs have been told to sound proof their buildings, as those who violate the acceptable decibels required in the city will be charged to court,” he said.

He also noted that the courts would be used to generate revenue.

“Using the courts to recover our revenue for services rendered is the alternative available to us, considering that it is a difficult way to go. Court processes are difficult, however, since some people prefer to default on the payment of their utility bills, they are compelled to do so by the court.






     

     

    “We may have no other choice than to sustain the process until people begin to pay their bills as at when due. Using the courts to recover our revenue is enshrined in our operational guidelines,” he said.

    Osilama also spoke on transferring bills and liabilities from old tenants to new occupants, saying that the practice would be addressed within the year.

    “In cases like this, we try to reach a settlement because the real defaulter has disappeared, and it will be unjust to ask the new occupant to pay for a service he didn’t enjoy. This will end hopefully this year as we try to clear the backlog.

    “Cases of accumulating bills for several years and transferring liabilities to other persons will no longer occur,” the AEPB boss added.

    Ijeoma Opara is a journalist with The ICIR. Reach her via [email protected] or @ije_le on Twitter.

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