Authorities in Lagos state must act immediately to protect hundreds of families in the informal settlement of Badia East who are being forcibly evicted today, said Amnesty International.
Demolitions began this afternoon after police had been in the community earlier asking residents to move out. Bulldozers had arrived in the informal settlement in the early hours of Friday morning, after repossession notices were daubed across buildings with red paint yesterday. Residents were given just one day’s notice of the demolition and to date, no adequate remedy or alternative housing has been offered and the local chief has not conducted any formal consultation with the affected residents.
“Hundreds of people in Badia East woke up this morning to the frightening sight of bulldozers outside their homes. With wholly inadequate notice, they are at serious risk of being forcibly evicted because of a court ruling which they have no chance to appeal,” said Morayo Adebayo, Nigeria Researcher for Amnesty International.
“The Lagos state government must act urgently to meet its responsibility to ensure that these people are protected from any arbitrary or unlawful interference with their homes.”
This threat of eviction comes after a court ruling in favour of the local chief Abdul Fatai Oyegbemi Aromire, who is seeking to reclaim the land on which the homes and structures at risk in Badia East are built. Although this case went to court, those affected by the ruling were not party to this lawsuit, rendering them unable to appeal the judgement. In addition, they have not been consulted at all on the proposed demolitions and evictions as the authorities are required to do under international law.
In February 2013, the Lagos state government sent bulldozers into Badia East, and demolished more than 200 structures, forcibly evicting 9,000 people. Those affected still have not received adequate compensation or an effective remedy.
“The demolition of their homes and businesses will not only destroy livelihoods and render hundreds homeless, it will also be a breach of the states’ duty under international law,” said Morayo Adebayo.
“This is a gross miscarriage of justice and the Lagos state government has a clear responsibility to protect these people.”