Environmental Pollution: AEPB Seals-off Abuja Estate

By: Demide Precious

For endangering the lives of residents of Gudu District in the Federal Capital City, authorities of the Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB), have sealed -off the premises of Brains and Hammers Estate, Apo 4 Abuja.

The action is sequel to a Court Order mandating the management of the Abuja Environmental Protection Board, to seal-off the Estate for constituting environmental hazards by the improper discharge of sewage, and other waste into the environment.

Director, AEPB, Engr. Briamah Osilama said the Board had earlier sued the management of the property for inappropriate discharge of Sewage into the Environment, abandoning a broken soakaway; that is constituting a nuisance to the neighbors and caused damage to the environment.

He disclosed that AEPB has no option other than to carry out the Court order given the brazen violation of sections 17 and 28 of the Board’s Act of 1997 by the management of the Estate.

According to him, despite the violation of the law, the management of Brains and Hammers Estate refused to appear before the Court after being summoned by the Court in outright disregard to the judicial authority.

Osilama explained that the offense committed by the firm is contrary to sections 17 and 28 of the AEPB Act, which makes provision for property owners to ensure proper drainage systems as well as other related environmental maintenance in the Federal Capital Territory.

The Director warned that the Board will no longer treat such cases of elemental pollution and other related matters with levity, because environmental issues affect human lives.

He said, though this was the extreme measure taken so far, the enforcement of the Court directive was the last line of action to be taken by the Board, because previous attempts and steps taken to solve the problem were not successful.

Also speaking during the exercise, the Deputy Director, in charge of the Sewer Control System, Engr. Aminu Jafar, said the notice was duly issued to the Brains & Hammers Estate by an Environmental Court but the notice was ignored.

He said Abatement Notices were issued three weeks before the court order, but all of them were ignored by the property owner, hence the court summons was served.

According to him, the firm again, refused to comply with the Court order which compelled the court to take this action to enforce the law.

Aminu urged property owners in Abuja to ensure that their drainage systems and sewers, capable of causing environmental pollution are properly maintained.

He said the Board is committed to handling environmental issues that could cause harm to human lives by its negative pollutant effect in the FCT with utmost urgency.

He advised property owners to comply with all environmental regulations; adding that “ignorance is not an excuse in law.”

He further advised residents of the FCT to desist from improper management of sewers and indiscriminate dumping of solid waste that is inimical to human lives.