Protesters Block Lekki-epe Expressway Embarks On Mass Denomination Of Estate In Defiance Of Court

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While tens of houses in Hopeville Estate had been demolished, residents of Jakande Estate have blocked access road even as security agencies including anti-riot police aiding the demolitions have been deployed to break the blockage.

As the Lagos State government continues the demolition of what it described “illegal structure or structures with permit” residents of Jakande Estate have blocked the Lekki-Epe Expressway to protest against the demolition of their properties.

The residents and homeowners in Hopeville Estate, located in the Sangotedo area of Eti-Osa Local Government Area, Lagos, have been fixed in a corner as their homes are being demolished by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu-led administration.

While tens of houses in Hopeville Estate had been demolished, residents of Jakande Estate have blocked access road even as security agencies including anti-riot police aiding the demolitions have been deployed to break the blockage.

Nigeria stories in tweet posted on its X handle, explained that the Task Force and anti- riot police have arrived the scene with tear gas to disperse the angry residents.

The tweet reads: “Reports reaching us states that Jakande Estate residents in Lagos have blocked Lekki Epe Express way.

“Task Force and anti- riot police have arrived the scene with tear gas.”

Meanwhile, residents of Hopeville Estate, in the Sangotedo are still in confusion and state of despair following the Friday’s demolition which had left them homeless.

Accompanied by security personnel, a task force from the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LABSCA), reportedly descended upon the estate with two bulldozers and other heavy machinery, for a demolition exercise that has left numerous buildings in the estate in ruins. This is despite the matter also being in court.

LABSCA had maintained that prior notice of the demolition was served on the residents, citing non-approval of building plans as justification. 

However, residents claim the notice was insufficient, especially with a pending court case which has been served on the government. As a result, they say they are unprepared for the sudden destruction of their homes.

A visit to the estate reveals a scene of devastation, with many buildings reduced to rubble and debris scattered across the streets. Some homeowners, faced with the loss of their properties, have resorted to selling salvaged scraps and materials to scavengers. Furniture and household appliances now line the sidewalks, a testament to the abrupt displacement experienced by the residents.

Adding to the distress, armed policemen have been deployed throughout the estate, further intensifying the atmosphere of tension and unease among the affected community members.

Videos capturing residents’ grievances regarding what they call hasty and illegal demolition have circulated widely on social media platforms, drawing attention to the plight of those impacted by the actions of the state agency and law enforcement officials.

As Hopeville Estate grapples with the ongoing demolition, residents are left with uncertainty and the daunting task of rebuilding their lives.

One of those affected by the demolition told Channels TV that the residents of the estate are still confused over the development.

According to the resident who claimed anonymity, the estate had issues with some persons in the past and was in the process of resolving the challenges before the recent demolition.

“So we were in that process before suddenly on Friday we saw trucks of policemen and our armed policemen and bulldozers moving to the area without any notification to anybody and began to break people’s houses and homes everywhere,” he said.

“Many people who were living in their houses were suddenly thrown out of their houses and they had to sleep right on the streets through the night between Friday and Saturday; as the rain fell, most of the people were outside when the rain was falling in the middle of the night. The demolition has continued up till this time and it’s still we are at this point. We still don’t understand who is behind this and what is going on.

“They are claiming that it is from LABSCA. Nothing has been explained to us on why LABSCA is going through this.

“Because we know even if you say people constructed without a permit, that there are processes of integrity tests that can be conducted to confirm whether the buildings are sound or not.

“And then there are penalties for people who have constructed, maybe without a permit to pay penalties to the government, and then we let their properties be in these difficult times. How can somebody, you know choose this alternative as a better alternative breaking down you can say building; nine flats? You know, there are so many people with our houses in Nigeria now, and you are trying to throw more people under the same pressure. This is just not acceptable.”

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