By Monsur Olowoopejo
LAGOS — No fewer than 200 occupants’ of three distressed buildings in Mushin Local Government area of the state were weekend evicted by the state government.
It has also continued the demolition of one of the three buildings; a four-storey, located on 34 Adeyemi Street.
The two remaining buildings awaiting demolition are a two-storey and a shopping complex located on 32 and 33 Adeyemi Street respectively.
However, the evicted occupants have alleged that they paid N100,000 to un-named official of the Lagos State Building Control Agency, LASBCA, to allow them remain in the distressed buildings for another year before demolition.
It was learnt that some of the buildings were erected over 22 years ago and were never renovated, but the landlords were only collecting rents worth over N200, 000 each annually.
Vanguard gathered that five other buildings were also marked for demolition for allegedly contravening approvals among others. They may be demolished in a matter of days.
Speaking, General Manager of LASBCA, Mrs. Abimbola Animashaun-Odunayo, said: “The occupants were evicted because the buildings are unsafe for habitation. They have obvious cracks and can collapse any moment. This was the reason for government action. They are dangerous for habitation and if they collapsed today, about 200 occupants of the houses will suffer severe injury. We have to be proactive to ensure that buildings especially distressed ones do not collapse on the occupants.
“To avoid loss of lives, a new slogan has been adopted; ‘kill the house, before it kills us’. We have issued the landlords of the affected buildings notices thrice directing their tenants to vacate the property. But they refused.”
On the alleged bribery, she said: “I believe they made such allegation because they were upset. They believe that if they say that we can pardon them. Earlier, they appealed for a week extension, but we turned it down. We are all human beings. We have seen a lot of collapsed buildings and we have seen the number of causalities that died as buildings caved in. Why will anyone collect money from someone when we know that such building can collapse any moment? We have conscience.”