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After years of land dispute with LASU, controversial demolition leaves 16 landlords homeless

The demolition exercise happened on Catholic Mission avenue after years of efforts by the landlords on the road to avert the demolition of their residences.

Standing on the rubbles of his demolished mansion, one of many landlords, Alhaji Adebisi Akande, mentioned there had been a lingering disaster on an expanse of land between landlords locally and the authorities of Lagos State College (LASU).

It’s believed that the expanse of land behind one of many three fences of the university belongs to the establishment however some Omo-onile (landowners) took over the land some years in the past and offered it to unsuspecting patrons.

Akande, who moved to the realm in 2004 mentioned for the reason that landlords realised that the realm genuinely belongs to LASU, they had taken all of the steps the ‘college authorities’ requested them to take to make sure their properties will not be demolished.

Certainly one of such steps in keeping with Akande is the regularisation charge the college authorities allegedly imposed on the troubled landlords to make the scenario formally accepted by the college management.

“Throughout Governor Akinwunmi Ambode’s administration, they requested a few of us to pay N1.2m but these of us on this line weren’t given the approval to pay the charge. But there are two landlords who’ve paid N250,000 and their properties were nonetheless brought down,” he mentioned.

Mr Omojola Ademola, another landlord disclosed to this reporter that regardless of paying the regularisation charge, his house was demolished.

“They requested us to pay over N3m relying on the sq. metre of everybody’s land. However the former Vice-Chancellor, Adigun Fagbohun and former Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Idiat Adebule pleaded on our behalf they usually diminished it to N1, 250,000. We have been anticipated to pay the N250k first which was meant for the survey and deed of project. I’ve already paid mine in 2019, and I’ve the receipts”, he disclosed.

Ademola mentioned through the administration of Governor Ambode, they have been assured that their houses wouldn’t be demolished after the completion of the regularisation course of.

He mentioned, “When the disaster began, the previous Oniba of Ibaland, former Deputy Governor, and former LASU VC stepped in and Ambode ordered that the regularisation of this space needs to be carried out, additionally they promised that no home would be demolished after the regularisation train”.

Each Ademola and Akande confirmed that the landlords had a number of meetings with one Prof Ogundele, a lecturer on the establishment, and a sure Mr Jonathan who they consider is a advisor to LASU.

While alleging that Ogundele and Jonathan are the architects of their misfortunes, the landlords puzzled why all buildings on the road were demolished besides a Catholic church.

The landlords, a few of whom are artisans, perceive that Prof Ogundele is a LASU lecturer who heads the group that commonly speaks to them on the state of affairs of their properties, whereas Jonathan claims to be a advisor to LASU.

“Ogundele is the top of the group we relate with in LASU whereas Jonathan is alleged to be a advisor for the college”, Ademola mentioned in Yoruba language.

Following the demolition train, Jonathan allegedly blocked Akande on Whatsapp and refused to choose up his calls. Efforts to get to him by different landlords proved abortive as he allegedly ignored their calls.

Nevertheless, when this author reached out to him for touch upon the demolition of the properties, Jonathan mentioned he had no remark that he was solely a advisor to LASU.

“No matter considerations that place will be verified from Lagos State College Administration. No matter info you need, go to LASU, I’m solely a advisor”, he retorted.

However whereas Jonathan claimed to be a advisor to the college, the establishment’s head of Centre For Info Press & Public Relations, Ademola Adekoya mentioned he doesn’t know any LASU advisor who goes by the identify, Jonathan.

“I don’t know any Jonathan, he’s not a advisor, if there may be anyone that may speak about that place, it must be members of the committee arrange, these individuals in command of planning. Even the demolition is past them. LASU can’t give a directive to demolish homes, it’s not attainable. I don’t know that Jonathan.”

An nameless non-academic staffer of LASU who spoke to this author additionally mentioned he doesn’t know any Prof Ogundele within the establishment. “I don’t know anybody by that identify”. He merely mentioned.

This maybe lends credence to the landlords’ suspicion on the demolition of their properties. A few of them alleged that Jonathan was bribed by some individuals to spare their buildings from being demolished.

“The world meant for demolition is down there not right here, however as a result of they’ve been bribed (by residents of that space) they selected to demolish this aspect”, Akande alleged.

Ademola echoed the identical sentiment saying, “Every time representatives from the Ministry of City and regional planning are coming for an inspection of this space, Jonathan and Ogundele all the time stopped them from going to sure areas on this neighborhood.

“We’re along with this church, we’re on the identical line, however the church was not demolished”.

On Catholic Mission avenue the place the demolition was carried out is St Anne’s Catholic Church, an edifice that’s conspicuously probably the most useful property on the road. This maybe counts for the explanation the road was named after the church.

When the demolition train began final week, all buildings on the road together with a Celestial Church of Christ, located proper in entrance of the Catholic church have been introduced down.

In accordance with the landlords, their homes have been pulled down as a result of LASU plans to construct a sewage system across the space however they puzzled why the church-which is on the identical avenue with their demolished properties- stays standing if the sewerage was the explanation for the demolition train.

Of their quest to know why the Church was not pulled down, the one reply they obtained from the demolition group was that the church had been handed over to LASU.

The reason didn’t go down nicely with the landlords as they believed there was a conspiracy someplace.

Responding to the declare on the donation of the church to LASU, the college’s spokesperson, Adekoya informed this reporter that he doesn’t know why the church was spared as a result of LASU has nothing to do with the demolition of properties within the space.

“In a layman’s understanding, if any person builds a home in your land, do you might have the correct to demolish the home? Even when that home must be demolished, is it you that may demolish it or the court docket would give an order to go and demolish it?

“So, the demolition goes past LASU, the Vice-Chancellor of the establishment doesn’t have any proper to demolish anyplace. That’s why I mentioned don’t consider every little thing individuals say, they are going to simply let you know issues based mostly on emotion and sentiment”, Adekoya mentioned.

He, nonetheless, recalled that two years in the past, 13 conventional leaders within the space and the previous deputy governor met with the landlords and guaranteed them that their properties wouldn’t be demolished.

However now, their homes have been demolished. The person that claimed to be a advisor to LASU mentioned all questions needs to be directed to the administration of the establishment whereas the establishment mentioned it was not conscious of the demolition train that passed off.

If LASU has nothing to do with Jonathan who poses as a advisor to the establishment, the state authorities must step in to unravel the explanation why the poor landlord’s homes have been destroyed after a seven-day discover; why the Catholic church was spared, and extra importantly, who was Jonathan working for?

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