By Bose Adelaja
Mr. Ebun Olu-Adegboruwa is a human rights lawyer. He attended Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife and thereafter the Nigerian Law School in 1995. He had worked with late Chief Gani Fawehinmi’s Chambers before he set-up a law firm, Adegboruwa & Company with corporate office in Lekki-Ajah.
Also, he has led series of protests especially against tolling of Lekki-Epe expressway by Lagos State government and Lekki Concession Company LCC.
In this interview, he speaks on the state of his people as well as the effect of the tolling on residents. Excerpts;
The Lagos State government made good its promise to start the collection of toll on Lekki-Epe expressway on December 18, 2011. One year is gone and what impact does this have on residents?
The tolling has done more harm than good, in the first place, it was a mistake to have concession Lekki for tolling. One year is already gone and by now, Lagos State government ought to have lifted the toll and engage the concessionaire. Through this, it will be able to refund the money because the government is saddled with responsibility to provide infrastructural facilities for its people which tollgate is part of.
You said the Lagos State government ought to have lifted the toll…
Yes, as a matter of fact, we have discovered through a diligent search that LCC and African Resource Manager obtained a bank loan worth billions of Naira and investigations revealed that the loan was granted for the purpose of Lekki/Eppe expressway. Many of us are privy to the document which stipulates that the loan should be disbursed but the Concessionaire acted contrary to this.
According to the document, about 10km of the road should be constructed simultaneously with the alternative road which is supposed to be directly on the Sand fill area. Also, LCC stipulates in the document that the condition for constructing the alternative road is for the government to construct the Coastal shore lines or embankment road in a way to avoid been washed off by the Ocean.
However, Lagos State government has failed to construct the alternative route, in order words, the coastal road which is about 30 Km ought to have been constructed simultaneously with tolling. We don’t need a soothsayer to tell us that the government has made a lot of money on the tolling.
Are you suspecting a foul play?
It is a fraudulent practice on the part of both Lagos State government and LCC to use Oniru as an alternative road. Oniru is a owned by individuals and not the government, so, the government cannot dictate to the owners of the land.
Had the government not changed its decision, second tolling of the express-way would have kicked off last December. How did you see this?
As I said earlier, the tolling has done more harm than good; The government announced suddenly to commence tolling on December 15, 2012, at Chevron toll gate, Ikota, without revealing the amount that has been recouped so far. We are all in darkness and we must know the justification for this, a good question is, how much have we realised so far?