Lagos Assembly set to probe demolition of 70 year-old man’s house

The Lagos State House of Assembly Committee on Physical Planning and Urban Development has begun investigations into the demolition of two houses on Ishola Street, Makoko, Yaba, Lagos State, owned by a 70-year-old man, Olu Bakare.

It was learnt that the committee had summoned the victim; the Chairman of the Lagos State Special Task Force on Land Grabbers, Akinjide Bakare; and an official of the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development, Ayo Ogunsiji, over the demolition.

PUNCH Metro had reported that some hoodlums, led by one Abule, in May 2016, demolished Olu’s buildings.

The land was subsequently sold to some unidentified individuals who started construction on it.

The landlord had, through the Femi Falana’s Chambers, written petitions to the task force, demanding justice.

It was reported that the task force chairman assigned a police inspector, one Ojugbele, to investigate the case and some relatives of Abule were subsequently arrested on October 8, 2016.

They were, however, released after they allegedly promised to produce Abule or the persons who bought the land within a week. The matter hit a brick wall as neither Abule nor the buyers were produced.

The victim had expressed discontent over the handling of the matter by the task force despite the directives of the state Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, as well as the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Adeniji Kazeem.

Olu told our correspondent on Thursday that the House of Assembly committee headed by Mr. David Sontonji, had waded into the matter and met with the parties on December 15.

He said during the meeting, the representative of the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development, Ogunsiji, told the committee that the structures built on the land had been marked for demolition.

He said, “When the committee invited all the parties to a meeting on August 30, 2017, the ministry said a response was being awaited from the trespassers.

“On December 15, Abule’s family told the committee that he was responsible for the demolition and that they had been looking for him.

“The task force chairman told the committee that I still have legal hold on the land.

“Mr. Ogunsiji told the committee that he had earlier pasted a notice on the buildings on my land, asking the owners to report to the ministry, but nobody showed up.

“He said the place was volatile when he went there to serve the demolition notice and that he pasted the notice with the police backup.”

The committee chairman, Sotonji, the member representing Badagry Constituency II, confirmed to our correspondent that the meeting was held.

When asked the committee’s resolve on the matter, he said, “The matter is still under consideration. When we are through, we will make our recommendations known.

“I can’t tell you categorically when the report will be ready because there are so many other issues we are dealing with.”

Source: ( Punch Newspaper )

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