By Olasunkanmi Akoni
LAGOS — The Lagos State Government, yesterday, gave reasons why illegal shanties and unwholesome habitation were cleared around Ilado and seafront areas beside Freedom Road, in Lekki, Lagos, saying it was done in the interest of the public.
In a statement signed by the state’s Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Steve Ayorinde, government said the state’s Ministry of Environment’s action was to forestall an environmental disaster and another round of deadly skirmishes that led to the razing of the Otodo Gbame community in November 2016.
Ayorinde, added that the action was informed by the overriding public interest to ensure that the waterfront area is free from environmentally injurious and unsanitary habitation few months after it was consumed by fire and rendered uninhabitable.
The government however, denied flouting any court judgment as alleged, insisting that it owes a duty to the larger population of the state to ensure that public health and safety is maintained.
The Otodo Gbame community is one of the 39 claimant communities that had commenced action to enforce their fundamental rights pursuant to Fundamental Rights (Enforcement Procedure) Rules 2009 before Onigbanjo. J of Lagos Division of the High Court of Lagos State in Suit No. LD/4232MFHR/2016..AKAKPO and 38 ORS vs. AG L/S and 3 ORS.
According to the statement, the trial judge did not deliver judgment on the matter but rather referred the parties to the Multi Door House for mediation.