UMUAHIA— ABIA State government, yesterday, alleged that some Port-Harcourt-based companies owned by expatriates were dumping industrial wastes in Aba.
Deputy General Manager, Abia State Environmental Protection Agency, ASEPA, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, who made the allegation, said the unidentified companies connived with lorry drivers to lift the wastes and dump illegally in Aba. He said one suspect, a truck conductor, has been arrested and his truck impounded.
Ikpeazu said the suspect allegedly dumped 90 tonnes of suspected toxic wastes generated in Port Harcourt in the commercial city, adding that the industrial wastes would be sent to Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, for laboratory analysis to determine the toxic level.
Noting that the suspect had been handed over to the police for further interrogation, he said: “We are now sure that there are some fifth columnists that generate wastes in their states and dump them in Abia State. We believe that had been the practice and that is why we have been having problems cleaning up Aba.”
He said two other trucks had earlier discharged 60 tonnes of wastes on Coca-Cola Bus Stop also in Aba and escaped, stressing that ASEPA became worried when it discovered that its daily projection on the number of trucks needed to evacuate wastes on Port Harcourt Road in Aba was no longer enough.
Ikpeazu attributed this to the sudden emergence of what he called alien wastes, stressing: “To our greatest surprise on Monday morning ,we discovered that 37 trucks would be needed to evacuate the wastes on Port Harcourt Road, hence we started thinking that there must be something fishy.”