Pro-democracy and good governance group, Concerned Nigerians, has condemned the eviction of residents of Otodo-Gbame community in Lekki axis of Lagos State which saw one person shot dead and another sustaining gun-shot wound in the chest by a team of police officers allegedly acting on the orders of the state government.
The deceased was identified as Daniel Anya while Monday Idowu, who was shot in the chest, is recuperating at the Lagos General hospital.
The State Government had on March 17, demolished several structures in the community, an action that prompted the residents to approach the court to seek injunction that will bar further demolition.
Yesterday’s demolition came barely three weeks after the state government tried to justify the demolition of Otodo-Gbame community in Lekki axis, saying the residents were illegal occupants. About 4,698 residents of the community were displaced.
However, in a statement signed by its Convener, Prince Deji Adeyanju and made available to newsmen on Monday, the pro-democracy group who called for relief materials for the evicted residents also said such eviction was wicked and unconstitutional.
“We condemn the forceful eviction of the residents of the Otodo Gbame community in Lagos State by the Lagos State Government using men of the Nigerian Military, Nigerian Police Force & the NSCDC.”
“These forced evictions led to the deaths of two people while several people sustained injuries. Thousands of people including vulnerable women & children, some as young as 2 months old, were forced to sleep in canoes on the open sea as a result of this illegal and insensitive action.”
“This violent eviction contradicts all known provisions of the law regarding property rights of residents in such communities, the acquisition of such rights, payment of compensation, the right to life and the right to dignity of the human person as provided for by our Constitution, the Land Use Act and several pronouncements of the Supreme Court.”
“This violent eviction is all the more illegal considering that there is a pending order of a High Court in Lagos State restraining it from carrying out this very sort of action.
“While residents of the community are seeking legal redress, we appeal to Nigerians to donate relief items (in the form of old clothes, mosquito nets, food and so on) to the victims of this vindictive illegality.
“Cash Donations can be made to Community Legal Support Initiative GTBank Plc 0167999455.
“Relief materials can be dropped off at No 310 Herbert Macaulay Way, 3rd Floor, Sabo-Yaba.
“We urge the Lagos State Government to stop the acts of mindless violence, rehabilitate the victims of these forced evictions & follow the proper procedure provided for by our laws for the acquisition of these lands.
“God bless Nigeria.”
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