29 October 2007

Nigeria: Sanitation - Two Police Officers, 29 Others Convicted

Two police women in Delta command were among the 31 persons prosecuted for violating environmental sanitation laws and regulations on Friday in Asaba.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that one of the offenders however escaped conviction, while the other 30 were sentenced.

Their sentences were various terms of imprisonment, ranging from one month to two months, and options of fines ranging between N500 and N10,000.

The two police officers who were not in their uniform during the time of arrest pleaded before the presiding magistrate that they were going to a wedding ceremony.

The Chief Magistrate, Mrs. Helen Okonkwo-Ikeh, who presided over the Sanitation Mobile Court, sentenced the two officers to one month imprisonment with an option of N1,000 fine each.

However, the arrested police officers were forcefully freed by a team of Joint Patrol Task Force led by Mr. Sa'idu Bosso, who came to the court with about 20 armed policemen.

The armed policemen took away the convicted officers without paying the fines.

Okonkwo-Ikeh, however said that Bosso would be held responsible for the return to court of the convicts. The Environmental Health Officer, Mrs. Endurance Magini, said that the action of the policemen was discouraging."These policemen are supposed to keep the law, now they are opposing the laws of the land. We are going to report them to the appropriate authorities and petition the Commissioner of Police over this matter," she said. (NAN)

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