24 Feb 2013

Amnesty International Accuses Lagos Of Forceful Evictions With Demolition of 300 Houses In Ijora Badia

A section of demolished houses in Oke Ilu-Eri
Human Rights organisation, Amnesty International, has accused the Lagos State government of gross violation of human rights with the on going demolition of houses and forced eviction of residents of Oke Ilu-Eri area, Ijora Badia, in the state.

A statement by the London based group appealed to the state government to “immediately stop” such evictions which it claimed, commenced on Saturday 23 February 2013, at approximately 9am, when bulldozers entered the community of Oke Ilu-Eri and began demolishing houses.

“According to the Nigerian NGO, Social and Economic Rights Action Center (SERAC), which has been working with leaders of the community since Wednesday to try to prevent the demolition, at least 300 houses have been demolished so far with hundreds of people displaced” the statement read.

“SERAC said about 200 heavily armed police officers supervised the demolition and several residents who tried to resist the demolition were beaten up by the police.”

Amnesty further alleged that “no adequate notice was given to the residents of the community before the demolition commenced” but it noted that “on Wednesday 20 February a notice of eviction was given to the Baale (the traditional district head) of the community – just three days before the demolition started.”

Noting the demolitions are still on going, Amnesty International lamented that “no compensation has been paid to residents; the evicted people have not been offered alternative housing and many people have been displaced.”

“The demolished houses included both wooden and concrete structures. Some of the displaced residents owned their homes, while many were poor tenants.”

“The eviction of people from their homes without the appropriate legal and procedural safeguards, including prior and adequate consultation, adequate notice and the provision of adequate alternative housing constitute a forced eviction and is a gross violation of human rights including the right to adequate housing” said Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for Africa, Lucy Freeman.

The body therefore called on the Lagos State government to “stop the on-going demolition; embark on a genuine consultation with the affected community; immediately provide adequate alternative housing to all those who have been forcibly evicted; and provide emergency relief including access to food, shelter, water, sanitation and healthcare services to the affected people.”

The state government is reported to be planning to construct its 1,008 housing estates in Ijora-Badia under its Lagos Homes Housing Scheme.

                                                             Culled from channelstv.com

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