Amnesty International has called on the government of Lagos state to end what it referred to as “forced evictions”.
Isa Sanusi, the groups’s media manager in Nigeria, said this in a statement.
Sanusi lamented the devastating effect of demolitions of houses in Otodo Gbame, a community in the Lekki area of the state, and other parts of Lagos.
“Over 30,000 thousand residents of Otodo Gbame, Ilubirin and Ebute Ikate waterfront communities in Lagos state were forcibly evicted by Lagos state authorities on 9 and 10 November 2016 respectively,” the statement read.
“The police fired gunshots and used teargas to disperse residents. More than 4,700 people lost their homes and livelihoods.
“In September 2015, approximately 10,200 residents of Badia-East community in Ijora area of Lagos were forcibly evicted, and many of them remain homeless and dependent on family and friends.
In September 2016, residents of Ilubirin community were also forcibly evicted from their homes without prior notice.
“A Lagos state high court in an interim ruling made on 26 January 2017, stated that the forced eviction of Otodogbame community which took place on 9-10 November 2016 amounted to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment and was a violation of the right to dignity enshrined in section 34 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Article 5 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights.
“The judge then ordered the Lagos state government and residents of Otodo Gbame to attempt mediation through the Lagos state multi-door courthouse.
“Lagos state authorities on 17 March defied the existing court order as well as an ongoing mediation process and demolished homes that had been rebuilt in Otodo Gbame waterfront community after the November 2016 demolitions.”
Sanusi accused the state government of failing to compensate those affected by the demolitions.
“The state government is yet to provide any compensation or resettlement to evictees from these demolitions,” he said.
“Over 40 communities and tens of thousands of residents are currently at risk of imminent eviction across the state.
“Nigeria is a party to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) and other international and regional human rights treaties, which require it to realize the right to adequate housing, and to prevent and refrain from carrying out forced evictions. Name: Residents of Otodogbame waterfront community in Lagos.”