Court orders Anambra church to relocate or face jail term over noise
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A church accused off mounting an amplifier and five heavy loudspeakers in front of premises, causing neigbours sleepless night most especially during the night has been ordered by a Magistrate Court in Nnewi, Anambra State, presided over by Emekwue AC to be sealed off and relocate within 10 days over noise pollution.
The church was sued by the Director of Environmental Health Services and the Nnewi North Local Government Area and was dragged to court.
The church was prosecuted on a two-count charge under the public health laws of Anambra state.
The prosecution described the situation as ‘prejudicial to human health’, which is punishable under section 21 of the public health laws of Anambra state 2006.
. The church was also accused of failing to comply with terms and requisition of abatement notice referenced No: 00000896 served on it.
The prosecution maintained that the condition was punishable under sections 8(1,4b) and 9(1, 2) of the public health laws of Anambra state.
It presented three witnesses who all testified that the church activities, particularly during its vigils held between 11 pm to 4 am constituted source of noise pollution as well as serious disturbance to an 86 year-old woman.
Delivering judgement on the matter, Emekwue AC directed the Director of environmental health services and Nnewi North Local Government Area to seal off the church and stop the defendant from continuing church activities in the facility.
The court also directed the defendant to relocate the church within 10 days or face one-year jail term without option of fine.
A resident of the area who witnessed the sealing off of the church, but preferred anonymity, described the court ruling as long awaited.
He said, “It is a thing of joy that the court has finally come to the rescue of the people who have not known peace since the church was opened in their neighbourhood. “We are all Christians here but all attempts to make the pastor and his church see reason on the danger his activities pose to the well-being of the people has always been misunderstood.
“They always tag those of us who are complaining as being occults.” (The Nation)
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