LEKKI REGIONAL ROAD : Property Owners Condemned Sanwo-Olu’s Dictatorial Tendency—It is no longer news that Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State has announced the plan construction of a regional road that will link Lekk-Epe expressway at Victoria Garden City (VGC) to the island of Lagos.
This well hyped project which is being handled by Hi-Tech Construction Company has led to the illegal seizure and appropriation of many landed properties with valid titled documents and government consent.
It is strange that in the 21st Century, a democratically elected government will arbitrarily seize people’s properties without due process, full negotiation and compensation, even when interest in such properties were duly registered at the Lagos state Government.
Many of the property owners have vowed to defend protect their interest in the properties being forcefully encroached upon by the Lagos state Government, in line with Section 2 of the 2016 Lagos State Properties Protection Law which posits that the use of force or self-help or any act inconsistent with the proprietary right of the owner to take over any landed property has been prohibited.
They also pointed out Section 43 and 44(1) of the 1999 Constitution which stipulates the right to own property and also the prohibition of seizure of property without legal authority and compensation.
It is a known fact that government may have rights to make use of private property where there is overriding public interest, but there is are legal steps that should mandatory be followed under the Land Use Act, before such acquisition can take effect. The Sanwo-Olu led administration has deliberately failed and neglected to take into consideration the interest of property owners by ensuring adequate negotiation as well as compensation.
It is quite ironical that the Lagos first citizen would rather overlook the rights of property owners simply because he wants to impress on his performance, using an over-hyped regional road.
A visit by our correspondent last week saw properties being destroyed and fences being pulled down, including those already occupied without due process.
Also, many of the land owners were deceived to believe they will be engaged in negotiation, with the State Government fixing meetings which their officials did not attend, only for Hi-Tech Construction Company, the state’s contractor, to start demolishing people’s fences and occupied properties.
This action, according to the property owners, amount to unjustifiable use of power by a democratically elected governor, who it is within its purview to ensure peace and security of lives and properties.
They further affirmed that the statement by Governor Sanwo-Olu at the flag-off of the 8.75 kilometre-long road project which tries to reduce the suffering of Lagos citizens on road congestion, should have also address their plight, as citizens, whose rightfully acquired properties have been destroyed without consultation .
This, they said, negates the rule of law and fairness
Property Owners Decry Sanwo-Olu’s illegal Seizure of Properties for Lekki Regional Road Project
Property owners in Lagos State have decried the unnecessary demolition and illegal seizure of their properties by the Babajide Sanwo-Olu government for the construction of the Lekki Regional Road project.
The 8.75kilometr-long road will link the Lekki-Epe expressway at Victoria Garden City (VGC) junction to Freedom Way in Eti-Osa, on the island of Lagos State.
The property owners are aggrieved because the State Government did not enter into any form of consultation with them before their properties were seized and destroyed, a situation that was extended to already occupied properties by the state’s contractor, Hi-Tech Construction Company.
The wanton seizure of legally acquired properties, with valid titled documents and government consent, according to the owners, negates the principles of fairness from a democratically elected government, whose duty it is to protect lives and properties of citizens, and in any action, to follow due process.
This action, according to them, amount to inexcusable use of power by a democratically elected governor, who it is within its purview to ensure peace and security of lives and properties.
They have vowed to defend their rights in court, in line with Section 2 of the 2016 Lagos State Properties Protection Law which posits that the use of force or self-help or any act inconsistent with the proprietary right of the owner to take over any landed property has been prohibited.
The property owners also pointed out Section 43 and 44(1) of the 1999 Constitution which stipulates the rights to own property and also the prohibition of seizure of property without legal authority and provision for compensation.
It is a known fact that government has the right to make use of property within the state for developmental reasons, but the onus is still on the Sanwo-Olu led administration to also take into full consideration the interest of property owners to ensure adequate compensation before confiscation.
A visit by our correspondent last week saw properties being destroyed and fences being pulled down, including those occupied without recourse to due process.
The land owners expressed grievances with the conduct of the Lagos State Government which did not address their plight as citizens while trying to lessen the sufferings of road users along that axis.