Fashola Wades Into Illegal Demolition Of Building


Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State has ordered the Lagos State Taskforce on Environment and Offences (Enforcement) Unit to wade into the illegal demolition of a bungalow located at 42, Adebisi Awosoga Street, Dopemu, Lagos State, southwest Nigeria by suspected thugs.

The building is owned by Chief Binjo Onasanya, a businessman, who petitioned Fashola over the illegal demolition. He said he had all the necessary documents for the land, including the Certificate of Occupancy and approved building plan.

Officials of the taskforce have already pulled down a fence erected around the demolished building by a particular family claiming ownership of the property and have been monitoring developments on the land since the illegal demolition on 15 January, 2012.

In the petition dated 5 March, 2012, he alleged that his bungalow was demolished by one Mr. Bunmi Ikuomola and Duro Ikuomola, stating that he bought the land from the Oniwaya Family on the strength of a Supreme Court judgement delivered in SC/86/87 Ikuomola vs Oniwaya.

He said the judgement declared the Oniwaya family to be the owner of the parcel of Land at Onilekere, Dopemu, adding that after the execution of the Supreme Court judgement and the eviction of the late Mr. Omolere Ikuomola from the land, “I, like several other purchasers, bought the land and premises at 42 Adebisi Awosoga Street from the Oniwaya family —it, being part of the land adjudged in SC/86/87.”

“I have been in possession of the property from the date of purchase and installed tenants into the premises. I have obtained a Certificate of Occupancy in respect of same. I also have obtained an approved building plan from the Lagos State Government.

“Much later, after I and the occupiers have settled on the land, Omolere Ikuomola family instituted another action in suit No. ID/611/2005 claiming that certain portion of the land in respect of which execution was levied, do not form part of the Supreme Court judgement. That case is still pending in the High Court of Lagos State as final judgement has not been given in the case,” he explained in the petition.

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He alleged that on 13 December, 2011, policemen from the Force Criminal Investigation Department, Alagbon invited my tenants to the police station on the strength of a petition written by Mr. Duro Ikuomola, saying that the petition alleged that the house was fraudulently bought by him.

“In a most bizarre demonstration of lawlessness, Mr. Duro Ikuomola and Bunmi Ikuomola immediately, after leaving the police station mobilised thugs to the site and broke all the Nigerite roofing sheets. I immediately notified the police at Alagbon before whom the petition was pending. The police did not make any arrest,” he alleged in the petition.

According to him, while the petition was still pending at Alagbon, and while still thinking that the police would play a neutral role by calling them to order, surprisingly on Sunday 15, January 2012, the Ikuomola family allegedly took a bulldozer to the house and destroyed same with all the properties within the premises.

“I am shocked and traumatised by this act of barbarism, which these men have exhibited. I am humbly appealing to your good office for assistance by looking into the matter. I have lost confidence in the police. There’s a pending case in court, which has not been concluded and I am therefore surprised that while the case is pending, my adversaries will take the law into their hands in a state that is showing and preaching excellence,” he stated in the petition.

Acting on the petition, Fashola has asked the taskforce to take up the issue and ensure that there was no further encroachment on the piece of land.

—Kazeem Ogbodaga

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