Lekki crisis: Panel begins sitting today

Lekki, Lagos. Image source ekoakete

Lekki, Lagos. Image source ekoakete

THE five-man tribunal of inquiry constituted by the Lagos State Government to probe the October 12, 2015, civil disturbances at the Lekki Free Trade Zone in Lagos will today, commence sitting at the Law Reform Commission, Ikeja.
The tribunal, under the Chairmanship of Justice Adesuyi Olateru-Olagbegi (rtd), was sworn in on October 22, 2015, by the Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode
Ambode.

While inaugurating the Tribunal at the Lagos House, Alausa, the governor said it had become necessary to investigate the remote cause of the unrest with the view to forestalling future recurrence.

The terms of reference of the tribunal are among others, to find the remote and immediate causes of the disturbance and to inquire into all incidental matters that might have led to the said public disorder.

Other references are to proffer solution that would forestall a reoccurrence of such public disorder in the area and other parts of the State and make necessary recommendations, among others.‎

Meanwhile, residents of Idasho Community, comprising of 11 villages in Ibeju-Lekki local government area, have called on the State government to set up a coroner inquest into the death of Mr. Tajudeen Disu, the Managing Director of Lekki Worldwide Investment Nigeria limited, owners of Lekki Free Trade Zone.

Also, the villagers urged the United Nations Human Rights Commission (NHRC), African Union, ECOWAS Human Rights Commission, President Muhammadu Buhari and other stakeholders to wade into the matter.

It would be recalled that the late Disu was allegedly murdered by residents of the community during a protest by people of Okuniraye village against the taking over of their lands by some investors.

Addressing the newsmen on behalf of the community, leaders of the counsel to the villagers, Bamidele Ogundele, said conducting an inquest into the cause of the death of the MD would reveal the people that shot him.

The villagers had denied shooting the late Disu, alleging that the bullet that killed the him came from the gun of one of his escorts, who escorted him to the land on the day of the incident.
“We are calling for coroner’s inquest to know the cause of Disu’s death. The government should tell the whole world the bullet that killed Disu whether it was a police bullet or from a Dane gun from the community. We are saying that he bullet was an accidental discharge from one of the escorts of Disu. The escort wanted to shoot a community leader but something happened and he accidentally shot the late Alhaji Disu.” Ogundele said.

He added that while the community is not against the development of the area, for a solution to the crisis, Lagos State government should return the lands to the community if it is no longer used for the public benefit such as building of schools.

If the state government cannot return the land, they should pay adequate compensation to the people. They should also make an apology to the community for violating their fundamental human rights. We are also demanding that Environment Impact Assessment be conducted on Dangote Oil & Gas (one of the investors on the land) to ascertain the health effects of situating a refinery in the area.
“Dangote Oil & Gas and other investors are moving to the community without palliative measures to the people,’ he said.

The community also blamed officers of Mopol 49 ‘for being used to oppress the community and should be removed from the land most especially as the case is now in court.
“Using impunity is not the solution to Ibeju-Lekki crisis but dialogue. The villagers can no longer farm. So, how can they feed their families? They have not been resettled yet some people are taking over their land,” Bamidele said.



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