Mr Adeosun Abayomi of an Aramoko Magistrates’ Court, on Wednesday, sentenced nine people including a traditional title holder and a cleric to six months in prison each for open defecation in Ekiti State.
Those convicted are: Pastor Olaleye Isaac, Chief Ologun Ala, Mr Agboola M, Mr Atoro, Mr Adetoyinbo, Mr Adesoba Sunday, Chief Jacob Taiwo, Mr Titus Ibironke and Mrs Olu Obateru, all in Ekiti West Local Government Area of Ekiti state.
The News Agency of Nigeria, (NAN) reports that those convicted were arraigned for various sanitation offences including non-availability of toilet facilities in their houses, non-availability of waste bins, and defecating in the open.
Delivering judgment, Abayomi lamented the environmental nuisance caused by open defecation.
He, however, gave them options to pay fines ranging from N5,000 to N15,000.
The Magistrate court also issued a bench warrant for the arrest of nine other persons who failed to appear in court for a similar offence.
He ordered the police to present them for prosecution on April 25, 2019.
NAN reports that out of the 18 people arraigned before the Magistrate court by Ekiti Local Government Environmental Health Officers, nine persons pleaded guilty to the offences, and were convicted accordingly.
Addressing newsmen after the conviction, Chief Prosecutor, Ekiti West Local Government, Mr Ebenezer Fashipe lamented that citizens valued their wealth more than their health.
He assured that the local government would continue to prosecute households without toilets until open defecation was eradicated in the area.
Commenting on the development, Team Leader of Bread of Life Development Foundation implementing a project called ‘Farewell to Open Defecation’ in Ekiti West and Gbonyin Local Governments, Mr Babatope Babalobi commended the Local Government for taking the bold initiative in enforcing sanitation laws against open defecation.
According to her, this would send a strong signal to all households without toilets in Ekiti state that the long arm of the law would soon catch up with them.
The News Agency of Nigeria, (NAN), reports that open defecation and non-provision of toilet in the state, is now a serious offence.
The state government came up with the policy of “One-House-One-Toilet” which now made it compulsory for landlords to at least have one toilet in their houses.