From BAMIGBOLA GBOLAGUNTE, Osogbo
The five goats arrested by the Osun State Waste Management Agency (OWMA) in Osogbo last week were on Tuesday dragged before an Osogbo Magistrate Court along side their owners. Three owners of the goats including Mrs. Aduke Adetona, Mrs. Esther Ibikunle and Adedoyin Adetayo were docked, while the goats were not allowed into the court hall but kept in the premises of the court.
The court presided over by Mrs. A. O. Ajanaku discharged Mrs. Adetayo, who had already lost her goat in the custody of OWMA and ordered other accused persons to pay N2, 500 fine to the coffers of the state government. The court pardoned one of the owners, Mrs. Adedoyin Adetayo whose goat had died, but warned her to comply strictly with the provisions of the state environmental laws and the rules of OWMA.
The court ruled that the accused persons violated article 101, cap 11 of the laws of Osun State, which prohibited birds and other animals from straying into residential areas. The prosecutor, Mr. Femi Ogunbamiwo who is also the Director of Environmental Management and Sanitation in OWMA told the court that the accused persons committed an offence contrary to and punishable under the environmental laws of the state. Mr. Ogunbamiwo told the court that the accused persons committed the offence on January 5, 2013 by allowing animals under their control to stray into public domain in a manner that was injurious to the health of the public.
Counsel to the accused persons, Mr. Jimoh Daramola pleaded with the court to be lenient with his clients and temper justice with mercy, adding that the accused persons would henceforth obey the laws of the state. Article 101, cap 2 of the 2002 Laws of Osun State, which was passed by the state House of Assembly states that: “No bird or animal shall be allowed to stray to any road or public place or urinate or defecate in any public place in the state.”
The Special Adviser to the governor on Environment, Mr. Bola Ilori who spoke with reporters after the court session urged residents to keep their pets in a cage to prevent violation of the state environmental laws and guide against transmission of diseases from animal to man.