Lagos Commissioner Defends Demolitions, Says Residents Received Notices Since 2021

The Lagos State Commissioner for Environment and Water Resources, Tokunbo Wahab, has addressed claims of inadequate notice regarding the demolition of properties in Mende Villa Estate. A developer in the area had previously alleged they were not given proper warning before the demolition exercise.

Commissioner Wahab refuted these claims. In a Sunday interview on Arise TV, he clarified that the government issued contravention notices to the developers as early as 2021. The most recent notice was served in November 2023.

These notices, according to Wahab, were issued because the properties encroached on the right of way for the Odo-Iya Alaro drainage canal. He emphasized that the demolitions were necessary to prevent flooding risks in the area, especially with the rainy season approaching.

“Are there people negatively affected? Maybe yes, maybe no,” Wahab conceded. “But we served them notices since 2021, and the local representative is aware of it. We’ve had meetings upon meetings, but the rains have started, and the government needs to act.”

The demolitions were part of a larger effort by the Lagos State government to reclaim the right of way for critical drainage channels throughout the city. This follows concerns that blocked waterways could exacerbate flooding during the rainy season.

While the commissioner defended the government’s actions, the demolitions have likely caused significant disruption and hardship for some residents. Whether the affected property owners received adequate notice and time to comply will likely be a key point of discussion in the coming days.


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