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E NOR CONCERN ME’ ATTITUDE THAT HAS SENT MANY TO JAIL….The BEDC intention.
Recently, Barrister Dele Igbinedion was able to secure an order of court that nullified the Edo State Sanitation and Pollution Management Law and everything that relates to it. Now, a retrospect of the damages that law had done to persons was not taken into consideration. Before that order was secured, the civil society have been shouting and wailing against the operations of the mobile courts and activities of waste managers in the state, nobody took us serious; many may be saying in their hearts ‘it is not my portion’. If we know how many people they have used that obnoxious law to send to jail, you will appreciate what the court did recently. We complained of a detention facility where suspects are kept at Urhokpota Hall before arraignment in a mobile court where YOU MUST BE GUILTY. The options are, you either pay whatever the mobile court fines you and go home or go to jail for some months. You are not given opportunity to call a lawyer to defend you.
THE BEDC INTENTION:
Having said that, back to the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) and their instituted court case. Many thought the court case is only against the civil society not to protest, not all. The court case by the BEDC mentioned Community Groups and Youth Groups not to protest against them. The import of that is, if your area have been put into darkness, billed excessively or you are aggrieved by any of their operations, you are barred from protesting. The BEDC have gone to court to seek a perpetual injunction to that effect. If by any chance, they are able to secure the injunction, whenever your community protest to their office, it becomes a criminal offence which will land any protester in jail.
From the foregoing, it is not only civil society that will be affected, every one of us are in for it. Last time, we announced the court date and requested that all of us should be in court in solidarity, many of us were too busy to come but when the chips are down, we may not be too busy to go to jail. Time to time, we display out account details online for support, a lot of us think it is not important or members of the civil society need the money for personal use.
Until we show interests on those issues that seek to restrain our democratic freedoms, we may continue to suffer untold oppression from every side. Every issue raised by the civil society is critical to all of us. The oppressors don’t even consider coming to members of the civil society but the vulnerable who still have the ‘e nor concern me’ attitude.
A WORD IS ENOUGH FOR THE WISE.
Leftist Osazee Edigin Public Relations Officer Edo Civil Society Organisations 28A, Erie Street, Off Sokponba Road, Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria.
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