Recent photo of the Igbosere High court

By Nimot Sulaimon

Lagos State Records and Archives Bureau (LASRAB), has said it would ensure the preservation of the historical heritage in Igbosere High Court, being one of the buildings affected by the EndSARS protest in October last year.

LASRAB Director-General, Mrs Bilikiss ADEBIYI-ABIOLA disclosed this on Friday, at LASRAB House in Magodo GRA, Lagos State, during a 2-day conference organised by LASRAB on the heritage of the Igbosere High Court.

According to her, the 2-day conference which was in collaboration with the Lagos Studies Association is aimed at ensuring that historic sites across the State are adequately protected and preserved for posterity.

She said that the Conference was organised to bring together stakeholders including eminent historians, academia, lawyers, NGOs and relevant government agencies, to discuss and document the unfortunate incident of the Igbosere High Court and what needs to be done to forestall future occurrences as well as to preserve other public infrastructures.

“In the event of the EndSARS protest in October last year, one of the monuments that were affected is the Igbosere High Court.  It was razed and vandalised, with lots of important historical records damaged and the building itself was burnt.

LASRAB, being an Agency of the Lagos State Government responsible for heritage preservation, felt it was important to document the history of the building, what is currently going on and to ensure that our voice is lent to preserving the heritage of the building once it is rebuilt.

“We are in talks with the Lagos State Chief Judge and the Nigeria Bar Association.  We want to bring together the best minds to achieve this and ensure that history is captured and preserved. This will be a joint project because we believe in partnership, “the Director-General informed.

She stated that the history of the Igbosere Court would be documented in a book, which will be available online and offline with relevant pictures and stories that speak about the court.

Adebiyi-Abiola noted that the Lagos State Government is committed to keeping historical buildings and also to ensure that they are well protected as stated in the law.

One of the Panellists, a Lawyer and Writer, Aduke Gomez, underscored the importance of preserving built heritage and preservation of history. According to her, the conference is part of the sessions at the Lagos Studies Association Conference which has been ongoing since 2016 at the University of Lagos.

“This year’s edition is virtual following the pandemic. This particular session is supported by LASRAB. We have discussed the architectural importance of the Igbosere High Court and how heartbreaking it was to see the high court damaged during the EndSARS protest.”

She opined that when historical heritage is preserved, it will be very beneficial to generations yet unborn to later appreciate and always remember the past efforts and achievements of their forefathers.

According to her, “It is also a physical reminder of where people lived, the works they did and what happened to them. There is also the tourism benefit in the preservation of historical heritage as well as the cultural and economic benefits.”