The Lagos State government has approved the establishment of 24 additional special offences courts in the magistracy for prompt persecution of residents who indulge in unscrupulous environmental practices.
With this development, individuals found dumping wastes of any description at any place other than a waste disposal site designated by the Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA), or disposing of waste in such a manner that it becomes litter or is likely to become litter will now be brought before the magistrate court and shall be liable to two years in prison with/or a fine, according to the Lagos environmental law.
The law also states that a person caught disposing of controlled waste in a manner likely to cause pollution of the environment or harm to human health will face the full wrath of the law.
Furthermore, residents who fail to pay up their waste bills after indulging the services of PSPs and/or fails to properly engage the services of the PSPs will also be made to face the full wrath of the law.
The approved magistrate courts includes Court 4, Yaba, Court 6 Ebute-Metta, Court 4, Surulere, and Court 2, Mushin all of which are under the Yaba Magisterial District.
There are also Court 7 Apapa under the Apapa Magisterial District, Court 7 Ikorodu under the Ikorodu Magisterial District, Court 3 Badagry under the Badagry Magisterial District and Court 4 Epe under the Epe Magisterial District amongst others.
In additional to the 24 magistrate courts, there are also 8 mobile courts within the state.
According to the management of LAWMA, with the backing of the law, PSP operators doing the job of keeping the state clean will no longer be running at a loss as a result of the refusal of some residents who despite all persuasions refuse to pay their waste bills.
Speaking to Westernpost on the telephone, the Chairman of the PSP Operators in Lagos State, Mr. David Oriyomi said with the establishment of the special courts, PSPs now have the right motivation to do the job of keeping the state clean.
“It will boost our work, income and have positive impact on the society. With this law, actions can be taken. This is an encouragement for those who have been paying to continue to do the right thing and not be discouraged by those who have refused to pay as the law will now finally catch up with such people. This also will increase service delivery and cleanliness of the state,” he said.