Waste managers sue Lagos government, firm over new environmental law
Two members of the Lagos State Association of Waste Managers of Nigeria have sued the state government over the Environmental Management Protection Law 2017.
Oladipo Egbeyemi and David Oriyomi filed the suit yesterday at a Lagos High Court, challenging the legality of the law.
Also called Private Sector Operators (PSP), they are seeking a declaration that the law is unconstitutional, null and void.
The applicants, through their counsel, David Fadile, claimed that they were among the 360 PSP operators appointed through the state Ministry of Environment between 1999 and 2003.
The operators listed the state government, attorney general, the House of Assembly, the commissioner for environment, Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA), and Visionscape Sanitation Solution Limited, as respondents.
They argued that Part 3 of the environmental law was inconsistent with the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
They also cited sections 42, 53, 54, 55, 56, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63 and 64, which seeks to empower the Ministry of Environment and LAWMA to control, regulate, and administer refuse, sewage and waste disposal in the state.
The operators are asking for an order to nullify, void and annul the regulation, particularly Part 111 of the Environmental Management and Protection Law 2017.
The PSP operators also want the court to grant a perpetual injunction restraining the first to fifth respondents from further violating, deviating from or in any other manner.
They prayed the injunction to include defying the provisions of Paragraph ‘H’ of the fourth schedule to the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The operators are further seeking a declaration that the concession granted and the licence issued to the sixth respondent, Visionscape by the fifth respondent is unconstitutional, illegal, null, void and inoperative.
They argued: “Save and except by a local government, any concession granted, licence issued, contract and/or agreement entered into by the first, fourth and fifth respondents with the sixth respondent either specifically or generally is illegal.
“Also included is arrangement with any other groups or organisations, entity, person(s) or body for the sole and exclusive operation of managing, collecting and/or dispensing domestic solid waste in Lagos State.”
They argued that any such action is unconstitutional, illegal, ultra vires and inconsistent with the provisions of Section 7(5) and Paragraph 1(H) of the fourth schedule of the 1999 Constitution as amended.
They argued that the action was a breach of their legal and constitutional rights as stakeholders in the business of waste collection and management in the state.
However, no date has been fixed for the mention of the matter.