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Published On: Wed, May 14th, 2014

Court orders FCT minister to unseal 200 hotels

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A Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High court, yesterday ordered the FCT Minister, Sen. Bala Mohammed to unseal the over 200 hotels sealed by the Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB), in 2013.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the minister had, in August 2013 directed the AEPB to seal-up some hotels that were not paying their waste disposal management fees regularly.

The Registered Trustees of Hotel Owners Forum Abuja (HOFA) had in September 2013 dragged the Minister and AEPB to court for charging exorbitant amount for waste management.

Delivering judgment, Justice Valentine Ashi said the minister had the power to make regulations “because the AEPB Act empowers him but he cannot make order for substantive issues.’’

Ashi held that the sealing of the hotels’ premises was ultra vires.

The judge ordered the minister to unseal the hotels.

He also restrained the AEPB from collecting the monthly charges.

NAN reports that neither the FCT minister, AEPB nor their counsel appeared throughout the time the case came up. (NAN)

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