The owners of a multi-million Naira shopping complex, recently demolished in the Balogun area of Lagos Island, staged a peaceful protest on Monday, calling on Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to intervene in the matter.
Led by Mr. Chidozie Chikelu, the developer of the complex, the aggrieved traders expressed their frustration over the demolition, questioning why their building was destroyed while another developer, Saheed Keshinro, continued construction on the allegedly government-acquired land.
Despite repeated appeals to the Lagos State government, the group claims that the issue remains unresolved, and the encroacher, Saheed Keshinro, has not faced consequences for the alleged illegality.
Emeka Ojiego, spokesman for the group, recounted the sudden demolition in August, revealing the involvement of Lagos State Building Control Agency (LABSCA), Lagos State Urban Renewal Agency (LASURA), and armed policemen. Ojiego condemned the demolition without prior notice, describing it as a grave injustice.
“We are determined to get to the bottom of the matter. Despite a court injunction, Saheed Keshinro continues to build, claiming verbal backing from Governor Sanwo-Olu. We call on the governor to address the issue and question the implicated government agencies,” Ojiego asserted.
Members of the Akinsemoyin family, the original landowners, also joined the condemnation. Oyeku and Gbenga Akinsemoyin decried Saheed Keshinro’s actions, emphasizing their family’s ownership rights dating back to 1944. They expressed concern over the ongoing construction in defiance of a court injunction.
The case is set for the next hearing at the Lagos High Court on Thursday, November 23, 2023. The affected parties await a resolution and are seeking justice for the demolition of the complex built from their hard-earned labor.