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  • News - North Central - Benue
  • Updated: May 25, 2024

Holding public events beyond 10pm now illegal in Benue

Holding public events beyond 10pm now illegal in Benue

It has become an offence and illegal act for families who lost their loved ones to organise wakes beyond 10 pm in Benue State.

The Benue state Government has also prohibited farming on empty unfenced plots of land in front of any premises, on the street, or by the roadside within urban areas; farming on undeveloped areas of government offices or quarters or reserved areas as well as organising rallies beyond 10 pm among others.

Gov. Hyacinth Alia, signed the executive order establishing the Department of Public Order in the Ministry of Justice to coordinate government policies and matters relating to public order on Friday.

Alia said the decision was to curb the widespread criminality and political violence such as kidnappings, murders, and intimidation against targeted groups or individuals leading to the emergency of local warlords and militia groups in the state.

During the ceremony on Friday at the Government House, Makurdi, Alia said the order was pursuant to Section 14 sub-section (2) of the 1999 constitution and Section 10 of the Public Order Act, CAP 382 of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The governor, represented by his deputy, Sam Odeh, prohibited all acts in violation of public order in the state and called for strict adherence to the laws.

The proscribed public acts include disobedience to traffic rules, child labour and exploitation, all forms of prostitution, indiscriminate dumping of refuse on road dividers, open defecation and urination, demanding of marching ground levy from developers, building on water channels or structures, kiosks, shanties on the right of way, hawking or selling of goods of any kind by the roadside or on the road.

“Also prohibited is farming on empty unfenced plots of land or in front of any premises or on the street, or by the roadside within urban areas. Farming on undeveloped areas of government offices or quarters or reserved areas.

“From the commencement of the order, rallies, wakes and other forms of public gatherings should not be held beyond the hours of 10 pm in the state.”

The governor warned that any breach of the prescribed public rules would amount to a sanction between N20,000 and N500,000 fine or imprisonment, depending on the gravity of the offence.

“But any person or group wishing to hold a gathering beyond 10 pm are advised to first, seek and obtain a permit from the Department of Public Order at the Ministry of Justice,” he added.

The governor also announced the establishment of a Public Order Advisory Committee with the mandate to advise government on policies, restoration, attainment, preservation and maintenance of public order and safety in the state.

Also, a Public Order Committee was established to operate in all the local government areas by collaborating with the advisory committee and other stakeholders to enforce the prescribed public order laws.

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