The National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) has arrested eight businessmen for allegedly importing into the country fairly-used electronic appliances.
The accused, who carried out their businesses in various parts of Lagos State, such as Alaba International Market, Akowonjo Road, Kirikiri Road, Badagry Expressway and Randle Road, Apapa, were said to have committed the alleged offence on October 10, 2010.
They include Gilbert Orakwue, Mike Igweonu, Johnson Nwoye, Jude Madukaibe, Ebokam Clement, Anthony Obi, Moses Eyisi and Lawrence Nwaogbo.
The agency, on Thursday, brought them before Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia on one count bordering on importation of harmful electrical/electronic waste into the country.
The prosecuting counsel, Bola Odugbesan, said the accused by their action were polluting the environment and endangering the lives of Nigerians.
The offence was said to be contrary to Section 1 of the Harmful Waste (Special Criminal Provisions, etc) Act, Cap. HI, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria.
They pleaded not guilty to the charge.
Their lawyer, Mr. Taiwo Taiwo, brought to the court’s notice their application for preliminary objection, wherein they prayed the court to dismiss the charge for lacking in substance.
Taiwo said, “My Lord, the entire charge as presently constituted is frivolous, vexatious and aimed at annoying, harassing and intimidating the accused.
“My Lord, the charge constitutes an abuse of the processes of this honourable court and we urge your Lordship to dismiss the one count preferred against the accused persons.”
The lawyer, in his submission, argued that the failure of the prosecution to serve the charge on the defendants had rendered it incompetent in the face of Section 36 (6) of the Constitution.
The court adjourned till March 17, 2015 to rule on the defendants’ preliminary objection
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