A motor park located inside the National Inland Water Ways Authority, River Niger Bridgehead, Onitsha, Anambra State, was on Thursday, shut down by officials of the Onitsha South Local Government Area of the state.
According to reports gathered by NIGERIACRIME, the officials of the council that carried out the duty, dragged out passengers and their luggage, as well as the operators and workers at the park, causing tension in the area around 3 pm.
The officials were also said to have pasted court orders they claimed to have obtained from an Onitsha Magistrate Court.
The Chairman of Onitsha South Local Government Transition Committee, Mr. Emeka Orji, personall, personally supervised the exercise.
According to Orji, the park operators had been warned about six weeks ago, but they failed to remove the refuse heaps.
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Orji noted that the state governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, has always complained about the heap of refuse, each time he passes through the area.
Orji said, “The letters we sent to the park owners about two weeks ago and a reminder were rebuffed, leaving us with no other option than to go to the court of competent jurisdiction to obtain an order to seal the park for causing environmental hazards to the general public.
“We offered to assist the park operators with two trucks to help them in evacuating the refuse dump but they could not utilise such an opportunity to avert this type of situation till this moment. Now, it is too late to cry when the horse has bolted out.”
Although the park operator, Ngozi Okpagu, rushed down to the scene where the sealing was ongoing but he could no longer gain entrance into the motor park.
Okpagu claimed that he did not respond to the earlier notices of the officials to evacuate the refuse dumps because he had a motor accident which fractured his leg and he had been at the hospital for some time now.
He, therefore, pleaded with the council officials, but the council boss told him that it was too late to reverse the court order since he could not instruct his manager to clear the refuse dump, neither could he make a direct phone call to the local council authorities, while in the hospital.