A Lagos based lawyer, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, has approached the High Court of Lagos State, challenging the legality of the newly signed Environmental Management and Protection Bill into law. In his suit, the lawyer is “seeking an order and perpetual injunction restraining the Lagos State Government in the person of the Attorney General of Lagos State and the Governor of Lagos State, the Commissioner for the Lagos State Ministry of Environment and Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) from violating and deviating from paragraph H of the fourth schedule of the 1999 Constitution”. Paragraph H of the fourth schedule of the 1999 Constitution empowers the local government councils with the provision and maintenance of public conveniences, sewage and refuse disposal, according to the lawyer. Mr. Adegboruwa is also seeking an order nullifying, voiding and annulling part 3 of the new Environmental Management and Protection Law which empowers LAWMA to make regulations for the collection and disposal of wastes and refuse in all areas of Lagos State.” According to the lawyer, this “usurps the functions of the various Local Councils in the state.” “In the light of the provisions of section 7(5) of the 1999 Constitution along with the Fourth Schedule to the Constitution which provides an exclusive function of the Local Government Council in Nigeria, Lagos State Government especially the Lagos State House of Assembly cannot manage, control and administer refuse, sewage and waste disposal as that is the exclusive preserve of the respective Local Government Councils in Lagos State.” said Mr. Adegboruwa. He further said that “the Lagos State Government cannot make any law that will empower, vest and place control, regulation and administration of refuse and waste disposal in all areas of Lagos State in the hands of LAWMA, Commissioner of Environment.” “Once any law is against the Constitution, that law cannot stand and the Governor took an oath to protect the Constitution,” the human rights lawyer said. “A Commissioner’s power cannot override the powers of the Constitution which gives exclusive right to all the Local Government Councils to manage the wastes in their areas as well as manage how these wastes are disposed.” Mr. Adegboruwa said. “The Lagos Government is outsourcing the constitutional responsibility of the local workers to foreign investors.”

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