What is affected
Housing private
Type of violation Forced eviction
Date 27 February 2013
Region AFA [ Africa anglophone ]
Country Nigeria
Location Lagos -LCDA

Affected persons

Total 10000
Men 0
Women 0
Children 0
Proposed solution

Forced eviction
Housing losses
- Number of homes 1008
- Total value €

Duty holder(s) /responsible party(ies)

Interntl org.
Brief narrative

Angered by the sudden demolition of their homes, hundreds of evicted residents of Iganmu-Alawo community in Apapa Iganmu Local Council Development Area (LCDA) have staged a peaceful protest at the Governor’s office to register their displeasure at the action. Community Mirror had reported that the land on which more than 10,000 residents were evicted was meant for the 1008 housing estate to be built in the year. The evictees, who complained of nowhere to go, also demanded alternative accommodation form the government. Speaking, head of the community, Chief Lucas Owoseni admitted they were tenants on the land, but frowned at the sudden demolition exercise, only 48 hours after they were served quit notice. According to him, the land belongs to the Ojora family and they have been living on it for decades. He said: “Our place is one of the host communities for slum upgrade activities under the $200 million World Bank funded Lagos Metropolitan Development and Governance Project (LMDGP). The state government has failed to abide by the specific terms of the World Bank policies that mandates it to minimise involuntary resettlement and, when displacement is absolutely unavoidable, ensure prior consultation, adequate notice, compensation, and resettlement which are what we are demanding for now”. He said the Federal Government of Nigeria acquired the land in 1929 to build rail line, adding that the land was returned to the Ojora family after it was not utilised. “The state government has no right to carry out mass evictions in flagrant contravention of international law and the fundamental rights guaranteed by the country’s constitution,” he said. Speaking in his palace, the Oba of Ojora land, Oba Fatai Aromire, explained that the land in question belongs to his ancestors and the evictees are tenants who leased the land. He debunked the insinuation that the family was behind the demolition exercise. “We never sold the land to those people. They [hold a] a lease on the land and they are my tenants. The land belongs to my ancestors. We are in support of 1008 units of housing estate the state government plans to build”, the monarch said. Also speaking, the Permanent Secretary in the Lagos State Ministry of Housing, Mr. Olatunji Odunlami explained that the land would be used for the proposed 1008 housing units as a way of re-developing the city. Odunlami said the place has been demolished twice because it was acquired by the government. He said: “It is an acquired land and now the government wants to build housing units on it. Over time, the evictees knew they are not supposed to live there. People should obey the laws and regulations so as not to turn Lagos into a jungle. Meanwhile, one of the evictees, Mr. Olayinka Ogunyemi, urged the government to relocate them to another place. He claimed that some of his belongings were stolen in the night under a bridge. He added “This shows what government we have in this country. I have no job. All I could do was to relocate here to survive. I want the state government to assist by giving me N4, 000 to transport myself back to the village. I am tired of living in Lagos.” Meanwhile, the Social and Economic Rights Action Centre, SERAC, has condemned the demolition exercise at Oke-Ilu-Eri Area of Badia East by the Lagos State Government. The demolition exercise, which started last Saturday, continued till yesterday. The group said the exercise illustrates the intention of Lagos State Government to continue “to collude, to deceive and mislead, while heartlessly destroying the homes and lives of poor citizens”, saying the residents were neither served with proper notice nor consulted regarding the exercise. In a statement, SERAC noted that the land in Badia East is still subject to ongoing litigation in the Lagos State High Court between the Ojora Chieftaincy family and residents of the community. The statement further reads: “SERAC and the community have also been contacting and visiting the Ojora Chieftancy family, which claims to be the traditional owners of the land and is suspected of foul play in collusion with the government. “We believe that the only notice of the demolition, possibly backdated to February 13, 2013 was served on the Ojora Chieftaincy family through its representative in the Oke-Ilu-Eri Area of Badia East, Baale Medonye and his secretary, on February 20, 2013. “Despite this, the Ojora family has refused to share any such notice or information with the residents whose homes are being demolished.”

Original article: http://nationalmirroronline.net/new/residents-protest-forced-eviction/

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