Saturday, September 05, 2015

Group petitions Assembly over illegal eviction of residents

A group, Justice and Empowerment Initiative-Nigeria
(JEI), has led a protest to the Lagos State House of
Assembly over an alleged illegal eviction of residents
of former school of Nursing building, Awolowo Road,
Ikoyi, Lagos.

According to a statement signed by the co-ordinator
of the group, Mrs. Megan Chapman, and made
available to the press, "We were contacted by our
sister organisation, the Centre for Defence of Human
Rights and Democracy (CDHRDA) which was on site
documenting the ongoing eviction by the Lagos State
task force .

She noted that force was used and that there were
disregard for the material possession of residents
during the eviction, while doors of the houses were
broken when the residents were not at home and
that their properties were thrown away from the
windows of the upper stories into puddles and mud

"This is very callous and inhumane and this
demolition and eviction were carried out despite
heavy downpour. "Our further enquiry into the
matter and discussion with the task force revealed
that the eviction of residents from the said property
was purportedly in execution of a 48hr "abatement of
nuisance" notice issued to them," she said.

She stated that the group had earlier written to the
state Ministry of Justice, the office entrusted with
upholding and enforcing the law of the state, saying
that such eviction is highly illegal and unlawful.
She reiterated that a Lagos State High Court had
affirmed that the environmental sanitation law of
2001 did not authorise either demolition of homes or
eviction of residents.
"We are saddened that the state has once again taken
the law into its own hands and there has been no
meaningful response to our urgent correspondents
or to the plight of the wrongfully evicted residents
who feel they have no option to pursue all available
legal options to enforce their fundamental rights.

"We wish to plead with the Lagos State Assembly to
intervene in this matter and consider using it as an
example to demonstrate that Lagos State is ready to
make a firm break from this past unlawfulness and
that the "Change" preached and promised
throughout the election time was sincere and will be
felt positively by residents of the state," she said.
The displaced residents, who were chanting solidarity
songs, urged members of the Lagos State House of
Assembly to come to their aid. One of them, Mr.
Sunday Okoh, said that it was unfair for the Lagos
State task force to displace them from the place after
they voted for the All Progressives Congress (APC) in
the election.

"We came out enmasse to vote for the APC during the
last general elections, so it is unfair for the Lagos
State Government to eject us from the premises," he

The Majority Leader of the House, Hon. Sanai
Agunbiade, who addressed the protesters promised
that the House would look into the matter when it
resumes sitting in few days time.

AbleMoJah® Nigeria.

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