An Environmental Mobile Court, sitting in Banex Plaza Complex, Abuja, has sealed off the plaza due to non payment of waste service charges.
This was announced in a statement in Abuja on Sunday by Alhaji Muktar Ibrahim, the Head, Information and Outreach Unit, Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB).
Ibrahim, who denied that AEPB sealed off the plaza, said it was the court that ordered its closure.
“The attention of the Abuja Environmental Protection Board has been drawn to the erroneous news trending on some online media platforms concerning the seal off of the popular Banex Plaza Wuse 2 for non payment of waste service charges for several years now.
According to him, AEPB as a responsible government agency mandated by law to safeguard the environment for the well-being of all, it does not mete out sanctions on erring individuals or organisations without due notice.
“Moreover, AEPB will never demand the use of any premises for a mobile court sitting except it had a case against any of the occupants of such premises.
“It is also public knowledge that AEPB has been on a debt recovery drive resulting in the seal up of waste channels of some banks and hotels.
“This has been publicised in both print and electronic media. The seal off of Banex Plaza is strictly along that line.
“It is a verifiable fact that Banex Plaza tenants owe AEPB huge sums of money running into millions of naira accumulated over several years. In spite of several notices, they have chosen to ignore serially.”
Ibrahim urged the Banex shop owners to pay up their accumulated debts promptly in the same way they expected payments from their numerous customers.
According to him, they should understand that laws are made to be obeyed, not ignored, especially in FCT which is a creation of law.
“Shop owners are therefore advised not to stir up trouble through deliberate falsehood but to instead do the needful and save everyone from unnecessary hardship, particularly their numerous customers.
“AEPB seeks the cooperation of all FCT residents, including the Banex Plaza managers, but it will not succumb to any form of intimidation or blackmail,” he said.