A mobile court on Saturday ordered the sealing of 52 houses in Gwarimpa, Abuja, for refusal of the residents to appear before the court to answer charges for environmental offences.
The magistrate, Jubril Kutugi, said the refusal amounted to contempt of court, adding that the order was with immediate effect.
Kutugi said only 10 out of the 70 occupants who were summoned appeared before the court.
The Abuja Environmental Protection Board, AEPB, had served residents of Adkan Estate in Gwarimpa with abatement notices for their failure to remediate environmental nuisance.
The AEPB Prosecutor, Lola Balogun, said the Gwarimpa residents were charged with not having dustbins which had caused unauthorised dumping of refuse within the estate.
Balogun said their offences contravened section 17 (1) G and 35 A of AEPB Act. of 1997 punishable under section 17 (2) and 35 of the same Act.
Also, another court prosecuted 160 offenders for violation of environmental laws at Limpopo Street in Maitama.
The magistrate, Aminu Abdullahi, said the court would not spare anyone who violated the claiming ignorance, adding that “ignorance of the law is not an excuse before the law”.
The prosecutor, Eze Eze, said their offences ranged from over overgrown grasses, lack of waste bins, unauthorised dumping of construction wastes/refuse, to keeping dirty environment.
Eze said the offences contravened section 17, 29, 35 and sub-section 19b of the AEPB Act 1997.
Uche Agbanusi, deputy director, AEPB, said the board would continue to invite mobile courts on weekly basis to address environmental nuisance.
Agbanusi said the impact of mobile court in the campaign against keeping unhealthy environment in the FCT was commendable.
He berated residents who refused to buy waste bins.
“It is worrisome that a lot of people do not buy waste bins. Indiscriminate dumping of wastes causes health problems. That is why we are doing everything possible to keep a clean and disease free city,” he said.