Thursday, January 27, 2022

Lagos: Movement Restriction For Environmental Sanitation May Return

Less than a week after taking the oath of office, the Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration in Lagos State is considering reverting to the restriction of movement of vehicles and persons for the purpose of environmental sanitation every last Saturday of the month.

As it happens, the State Government has created a poll on its social media handles on Facebook and Twitter to sample the opinions of Lagosians.

The poll, which was set up around 4pm on Saturday, had already attracted over 5,500 votes, 226 comments and 152 shares as of 5.45pm

About 79 per cent of participants voted in favour of reverting to the last Saturday of the month as Environmental Sanitation Day while 21 per cent voted against it.

The filthy state of Lagos was one of the factors that was said to have led to the defeat of former Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, who had given exclusive rights of waste disposal to a firm, Visionscape.

Following his defeat, the House of Assembly passed a resolution demanding that the Lagos State Waste Management Agency be in charge of waste disposal in the state.

Environmental Sanitation Day was introduced by the Muhammadu Buhari/Tunde Idiagbon junta in the early 1980s and successive military and democratic governments continued with it.

However, Governor Ambode stopped it following an order by the Lagos State division of the Court of Appeal in 2016 which ruled that it was illegal for the state government to arbitrarily restrict the movement of people without an enabling law in place.

The suit was brought before the court by a citizen, Faith Okafor (appellant) against the Lagos State Government (respondent).

The court restrained the Lagos State Government and its affiliates from further arresting anyone whatsoever on the basis of a purported environmental sanitation offence or trying anyone in the Special Offences Court without conforming to the dictates of the Constitution.

The court asked the state government to pass a law restricting the movement of persons before enforcing the restriction.

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