From Ahmad SAKA,Bauchi
Bauchi State Commissioner for Housing and Environment, Honourable Hamisu Mu’azu Shira, has alleged that his life was threatened by a charcoal syndicate after seizing three trailer loads of charcoal from them.
Hamisu stated in Bauchi over the weekend when he paraded nine suspects arrested by the police with the trailers loaded with charcoal at the Bauchi State Environmental Protection Agency BASEPA office.
He said that the syndicate exports charcoal from felled trees for the production of shisha, a product he said is being commonly smoked by youths.
Commissioner Hamisu said “Last night I received a call from a friend who alerted me about the movement of charcoal from his local government area, as you know, section 5 (1) of the law banning felling of trees and burning of trees for charcoal and other uses prohibits such acts. So I called the commissioner of police who sent some of his men with us for the arrest of the culprit”.
He said “The magistrate is ready and waiting to serve justice. And let me say that in addition to seizing the goods and arresting culprits, the vehicles conveying the charcoal will also be seized. Because of this, I have received threats to my life and I have reported to the authorities,”
Hamisu pledged to suggest to the State Executive Counci that henceforth any vehicle impounded will be forfeited by the owner.
The commissioner appealed to the public to report any felling of trees and movement of charcoal for immediate action.
He said the vehicles impounded were actually headed for Maiduguri, saying reward awaits members of the public with information on felling of trees and movement of charcoal.