State govt to revisit demolition of 1500 houses in Badagry by police

Inspector-General of Police, Solomon Arase

Inspector-General of Police, Solomon Arase

LAGOS State government is set to revisit the case of alleged demolition of 1500 buildings in Atinporome phase 11 in Badagry by men of the Nigerian Police.

The police had on December 16, 2013 allegedly demolished 1500 structures erected on 65 hectares of land in the community, accusing the homeowners of trespassing on the land. The demolition has rendered thousands of people homeless since the last two years.

It was gathered that after the demolition, the residents had sued the Nigerian Police, but the police failed to appear before the court, even as it had commenced construction of staff quarters on the disputed land.

The aggrieved residents, at a protest match in Alausa on Tuesday, displayed placards with inscriptions like: “The Lagos police command is not above the law;” “Police should publish their Certificate of Ownership (C of O);” “Police should vacate our land,” among others.

Addressing a section of the affected residents, the State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, gave assurance that his government was poised to investigate the matter and bring it to a conclusion.

Ambode, represented by the Head of Service, Folashade Jaji, however, urged the aggrieved residents to remain calm and be law abiding.

The Governor said: “If you have been listening and observing, this administration since we assumed office on May 29, 2015, the paramount concern of this administration is to ensure that residents are always happy.

“I want to implore you that we will look into it (the demolition) and make sure that justice is delivered. We will look into the records to ascertain what led to the injustice that you have alleged against the police.

“We are sorry for whatever might have happened one and half years ago. We want to assure you that aside that, we will do something to alleviate the suffering.”

He noted that during the investigation, the other party (Police) would be invited to speak on the reason for their action.

The coordinator of the Justice and Empowerment Initiative, Megan Chapman, earlier lamented that the previous administration abandoned the citizens; considering the huge lose they suffered through the demolition.

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