As we approach the hoilday season and looking forward to the new year, what can be devasting for any family than the loss of their shelter/abode, investments or life savings.
A report by The Guardian revealed that over 50 armed military men stormed Olokonla town via Ogombo village in Eti Osa local council of Lagos state and demolished the houses of residents around the area. According to the report, the soldiers demolished over 200 property valued at over N15 billion.
Many of the landlords and occupants of the demolished building, who made attempts to protect their property were beaten; some to a state of coma, while others were severely injured.
One of the victims, Mr. Utomi Michael, whose multi-million naira property narrated his ordeal.
He said: “I bought the 17 hectares during the administration of Bola Tinubu and we were issued all necessary documents. It was initially 24 hectares. I later conceded seven after a protracted court case.”
He stated that he sand-filled the entire 17 hectares and built property worth over N500 million on it, which was destroyed by the rampaging soldiers.
He pleaded with President Muhammadu Buhari, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, the Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly, Mudashiru Obasa and particularly, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu to intervene.
Another victim, Mr Olufemi Akinde claimed his demolished property was worth over N70 million, apart from another four plots of land he acquired.
On their part, worshippers of In His Presence Christ Tabernacle, a church building that was also demolished, said the action, irrespective of whoever authorised it, was against the tenets of democracy and principle of justice, fairness and equity.
Meanwhile, the solicitor representing the families of Bakare, Orebiyi, Seidu Ogunleye, Idowu Bakare, Amonja Oseni and all residents of the town, Aremo Oladotun Hassan, in a petition submitted to the Lagos State Assembly, has alleged that there are strong indications some cabals within the state government were acting on instruction to implement the demolition.
The petition reads: “On December 8, 2016, copies of some contravention notices dated December 6, 2016, were posted on some of our buildings by men who claimed to be officers of the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development, with a threat of demolition.
“We promptly asked our solicitors to write the ministry, the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, the general Manager New Town Development Agency (NTDA) among other agencies, intimating them that the matter concerning the land was before Justice Olokooba at the High Court of Lagos in Epe.
“However, on December 16, around 7:00a.m. the residents woke up to witness a willful, unlawful, malicious and an unprecedented, mass destruction of their property by military personnel being ably supported by thugs who rode in a Toyota Hiace bus belonging to the Ministry of Physical Planning with registration number LA 200A76 and a Hilux Sports Utility Vehicle with registration number BW 703 AGF.”