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20 houses sealed in Edo for harbouring street traders

Published by Tribune on Fri, 07 Sep 2012

More than 20 houses in Benin have been sealed up for allegedly harbouring street traders in and around the houses located at Ekiosa on 3rd East Circular Road, Benin. Retired Major Lawrence Loye, the Executive Director of the Edo State Environmental Protection and Regulation Unit, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Benin that the houses were sealed up for violating a court order.Loye said attacks on government officials on official duty were also sponsored from the houses.He said, ``We are working strictly on a court order. Earlier this year, a Magistrates' Court gave an order warning the landlords to desist from harbouring street traders in and around their premises.``It also gave an order restraining and warning them to desist from obstructing government's right of way.``But, in spite of all these court orders and warnings, they kept disobeying court orders and violating the environmental laws of the state."According to the director, 'we have often times warned the landlords and landladies to stop harbouring street traders in their premises, but they refused to adhere to our pleas and warnings.``We had to get a court order to seal up the houses since all our efforts and pleas fell on deaf ears.``If it was possible in Oshodi and Obalende in Lagos, then, it will be very possible and easy to eradicate street trading in Benin,'' he said.Loye added that prohibition of street trading in Edo was geared towards ensuring that sanity returned to the streets of Benin to enable the state government achieve its desired goal to restore the Benin master plan.He, however, decried the act of assaulting government officials and destroying government vehicles, adding that the law would take its course.He listed the vehicles destroyed to include one comrade bus and four vehicles belonging to the environmental unit.On the allegations of corruption levelled against the taskforce officials, Loye said he ordered that all taskforce officials to remain in the office while the operation lasted.
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