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Nigeria: Houses bulldozed, hundreds made homeless in Lagos

Amnesty International has urged the Nigerian authorities to immediately stop the forced eviction of hundreds of residents in the region as hundreds of homes are being demolished in the Oke Ilu-Eri area of Badia East n Lagos.
On Saturday, bulldozers entered the community of Oke Ilu-Eri and began demolishing houses. The Nigerian organisation, Social and Economic Rights Action Centre (SERAC) reported that at least 300 houses have been demolished so far with hundreds of people displaced and homeless.

SERAC said about 200 heavily armed police officers supervised the demolition and several residents who tried to resist the demolition were beaten up by the police.

No adequate notice was given to the residents of the community before the start of the demolition. Last Wednesday (20 Feb) a notice of eviction was reportedly given to the Baale (Yoruba word for traditional district head) of the community – just three days before the demolition started. SERAC has been working with the community’s leaders to try to prevent the demolition since last Wednesday.

To date no compensation has been paid to residents; the people evicted have not been offered alternative housing and many people have been displaced. The demolished houses included both wooden and concrete structures. Some of the displaced residents owned their homes, while many were poor tenants.

Amnesty International’s Deputy Africa Director Lucy Freeman said:

“The eviction of people from their homes without the appropriate legal and procedural safeguards, including prior and adequate consultation, adequate notice and the provision of adequate alternative housing constitute a forced eviction and is a gross violation of human rights including the right to adequate housing.”

Amnesty is launching a rapid response to this illegal eviction with members globally targeting the Governor of Lagos State and alerting the World Bank to this situation. It is hoped that international pressure will halt the eviction immediately, that emergency shelter, food and services are provided for those affected and that the Lagos State engage in genuine consultation with the community.

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