Ebony state government says open defecation popularly called ‘bush method’ is now an offence in the state such that anybody caught would be arrested and prosecuted, according to the state Commissioner for Environment,Mr. Ogodoali Nomeh, who disclosed this at weekend after the monthly sanitation exercise in Abakaliki.
He said any person found guilty after standing trial in the state court will be fined between N5,000 and N10,000 or jailed for two to four months or both depending on the gravity of the offence. “We have a law now that says if you are found defecating in an open place, it attracts a fine between N5,000 and 10,000 or jail term or both.
“The first offender will go to jail between 2-4 months. A person based on the gravity of the offence committed can be compelled to pay a fine and still go to jail even if it is two weeks whereas the second offender will go to jail for four months and still pay double of the fine he supposed to pay.”
According to the Commissioner, a second offender is one who has been caught more for at least two times committing the same offence. Also, you a second offender if you tried to resist arrest when you are caught committing an offence. One, is that you are disobeying the law and two, is that you are obstructing the statutory job of the officials on duty. He disclosed that landlords in the state were complying with the order given to them to provide toilet facilities in their respective houses to help government checkmate open defecation.
Meanwhile, seventy three (73) persons were arrested and prosecuted for not participating in this month’s sanitation exercise in Ebonyi. Nigerian Pilot reports that most of the people were arrested for loitering; others were arrested while they were on transit to their destinations during the exercise.
The offenders were prosecuted at Abakaliki magistrate court and fined between N5,000 and N10,000 while those who could not comply to the option of fine will serve a jailed term of at least two weeks or more depending on the gravity of the offence.
The Environment Commissioner who expressed satisfaction with the level of compliance of the people on the clean up exercise recalling that in the past, people hardly come out for the exercise just as he was optimistic that better days are ahead.


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