The Mobile Court of the Bauchi State Environmental Protection Agency (BASEPA) on Friday, November 6, sentenced nine persons to prison and confiscated three trailer loads of charcoals worth millions of Naira.
It was gathered that the trailers loaded with 500 bags of charcoals were intercepted based on a tip-off at Nabardo village in Toro local government area of the state while coming out from Lame/Burra forest where charcoals were made and packaged.
Three truck drivers were sentenced to thirty days imprisonment or option of fine of N10,000 and two weeks imprisonment or option of N5,000 fine each to their conductors.
The judgment was passed during the mobile court sitting at the Agency’s Headquarters after a press conference by the Honourable Commissioner Ministry Of Housing and Environment Honourable Hamisu Muazu Shira, The Director-General of the Agency Dr. Ibrahim Kabir MNES and Honourable Musa Wakili Nakwada, Chairman House Committee on Environment and Forestry.
The Court ruled that the confiscated charcoal are to be auctioned and lodge the money into the Bauchi State Government account, that the three owners of the charcoal are either to serve three calendar months imprisonment at the Bauchi Correctional service or to pay the sum of N100,000 each as compensation to the damages caused to the Bauchi State forest (Felling of Trees) and N35,000 each for engaging in the charcoal production.
All the judgment was passed in accordance with the provision of the Bauchi State Environmental and Conservation law 2017 as amended.
The Director-General of the Agency Dr. Ibrahim Kabir MNES said Deforestation is very dangerous to the environment and call on the general public to avoid the attitude of Felling of trees, he also used the occasion to call on the general public to see the importance of planting of trees in other to fight all the problems of climate change and deforestation.
As a professional Environmentalist, the Director-General also used the occasion to highlight the relationship between trees and our well being as a human being.
The commissioner of the environment and housing Hamisu Shira while addressing the journalists explained that the ministry in partnership with the Bauchi State Environmental Protection Agency (BASEPA) and police impounded the charcoals and arrested the culprits.
According to him, feeling of trees to make firewoods, timber or charcoals is proscribed in the state in view of the environmental hazards it causes in the state. He also stated that the culprits were taking the charcoals to Kano and Borno states urging the general public to always report illegal felling of trees in their domains.
The Chairman House Committee on Environment and Forestry, Hon Musa Wakili Nakwada said the issues of felling of trees and charcoal production in the state was for a very long time banned and call on the general to desist from such actions.