Nigeria: Protest Erupts as Traders, Landowners, and Developers Contest Demolition of Lagos Shopping Plaza
By Ahmad Hadizat Omayoza, Mamos Nigeria
Traders and Property Owners Protest Alleged Unlawful Demolition in Lagos
A group of traders, landowners, and property developers staged a protest against what they claim was the “unlawful” demolition of their multi-million naira shopping plaza by officials of the Lagos State Building Control Agency. The three-story building, located at 7, 9, and 11 Akinsemoyin Street, Balogun, Lagos, was reportedly demolished without prior notice. The protesters allege a land-grabbing scheme, asserting that the property was reassigned to another developer who immediately began construction.
Carrying placards with various inscriptions, the traders demanded restoration to the property and fair compensation for their losses. They called on Governor Sanwo-Olu to intervene and questioned the alleged involvement of Lagos State government officials, accusing them of extortion. Despite purported payments for the regularization of documents, the traders claimed their property was still demolished.
The developer of the demolished building, Mr. Chidozie Chikelu, Executive Director of Good Wave Resources Limited, emphasized following due process, obtaining necessary permits, and securing approval from the Office of the State Surveyor-General. The protesters’ spokesman, Emeka Ojiego, recounted the invasion on August 20, 2023, by LABSCA, LASURA, and armed policemen.
Members of the Akinsemoyin family, Oyeku Akinsemoyin and Gbenga Akinsemoyin, condemned the invasion, asserting their family’s ownership rights to the land. They clarified that a 15-year lease agreement had been duly signed with Chidozie Chikelu.