The families of Akinsemoyin and Mr. Chidozie Chikelu, as well as a group of traders and others, are urging Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, to step in and address the demolition of a multi-million-naira shopping complex and the destruction of goods in the Central Business District of Lagos Island.

The three-storey building, which was completed in August 2023, was situated at number 7, 9, and 11 Akinsemoyin Street (formerly known as Richards Lane) by Breadfruit Street, Balogun. It was reportedly demolished by state officials, armed policemen, and the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LABSCA).

Briefing newsmen about their ordeal, the aggrieved owners, led by Emeka Ojiego, lamented that the property on the land, leased for 15 years to Good Waves Resources Limited was on August 20, 2023 demolished.

“On August 20, 2023 at 1:00am, the developer, Chikelu and his business colleagues received a call about the ongoing demolition of the property.

“They rushed to the scene to find the demolition activity already ongoing, and attempts made by traders to salvage their goods trapped within the plaza were rebuffed by heavily armed policemen and LABSCA officials, who claimed they were acting on the orders of the Lagos State government,” he said.

They lamented that there was no prior notice to the demolition of the property from the government. They also noted that on August 15, 2023, five days to the demolition, the developer responded to a ‘stop-work’ order by LABSCA officials, who demanded a regularisation of all documents to the building and it necessitated a payment of N4.5million to two separate accounts supplied by the LABSCA officials

“This encouraged the developer and other investors in the project to set August 26, 2023 as the official opening day of the plaza but six days to the commissioning, the demolition commenced,” Ojiego said.

The aggrieved owners lamented that after the demolition; a new building started springing up of which an acclaimed land grabber, constantly referred to the state government as the authority behind his actions.

They said the new building had been extended beyond the 180.287 square metres originally ceded to Good Wave Resources Limited by the Akinsemoyin family to build and further encroach on their land.

“After approaching the police and court, the Akinsemoyin family secured a Lagos High Court injunction with number, LD/710292GCMW/2023 on October 12, 2023 to stop work on the land, but the new developer ignored it, claiming that neither the court nor state government nor the Inspector General Police could stop him from seeing through the structure,” they lamented.

They, therefore, called on the governor to wade into the case, as it will go a long way in assuaging the pains of those who have lost their investments and suffered on the matter.

Source: The Guardian