FACTSHEET ON BADIA-EAST DEMOLITIONS | 2017

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Local Context | Facts | Outcomes

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1970s The residents of Badia-East were at all material times, owners and tenants of properties of various types, comprising brick, concrete, block and makeshift structures, having acquired titles to the land from a variety of sources dating back to the 70s and beyond. Some residents derived their title from the Federal Government’s compensatory land exchange following the compulsory land acquisition to build the National Theater in 1973. Pursuant to a land acquisition order gazetted on January 28, 1926, several portions of the land in Badia are still under the full control and management of the Federal Government of Nigeria. Consistent with the diversity of landholdings in the area, several residents of Badia-East had paid rent to the Nigeria Railway Corporation and built block structures with the approval of Railway Property Co. Ltd. Recognizing their stay on the land, the Federal Government of Nigeria, through the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development initiated the Badia East Urban Renewal Programme in 2004. The said federal ministry has regularly consulted local residents, including the evictees, in stakeholders’ meetings and discussions pertaining to the development and sustainability of Badia communities since 2004.
2013 Agents of the Lagos State Government demolished parts of Badia community in 2013 and the residents were forcefully evicted. LSG claims it demolished part of the land in Badia in 2013 and used a loan secured by the World Bank under the Lagos Metropolitan Development Governance Project (LMDGP) to compensate affected residents. The LMDG funds were advanced to the LSG for slum upgrade.

Under the then compensation structure designed to benefit 2,252 households, displaced tenants were to collect N90, 000 each while landlords will get between  N174, 000 and N309, 000. These sums were rejected by a number of residents while some collected. The rejection of the sum was based on the fact that the proposed sum differed from what was originally agreed upon by parties.  Some also rejected because the sum was not commensurate with their losses.

A housing project, under the home ownership mortgage scheme sprang up within the neighbourhood shortly thereafter

2014 In 2014, the Ojora Chieftaincy Family laid claim to the land where Badia residents live purportedly on the basis of a judgment of the Lagos High Court in a matter involving only three residents of the community in suit No.LD/443/2002 – Chief Abdulfatai Oyegbemi Armoire & ors v. Chief Ogunyemi & ors. Badia residents continue to object to the Family’s land ownership claims.
September 2015 On September 18, 2015, demolition agents acting on the orders of the Ojora family and accompanied by bulldozers operated by Lagos State Government officials stormed the community without prior eviction notices and/or notice of intent to demolish property, and demolished the entire structures and buildings in the community. The exercise which continued till the 22nd of September, 2015, rendered about ten thousand persons including nursing mothers, children and the aged, homeless at the peak of torrential rainfall
October 2015 Yielding to the petitions and sustained advocacy pressure by SPACES FOR CHANGE, the Lagos State Ministry of Local Government Affairs on Wednesday, October 7, 2015, convened an urgent dialogue involving relevant state agencies, specifically the Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Urban Development, Ministry of Housing, Civic Engagement, the Ojora Family, Badia evictees and residents toward the exploration of a lasting solution to the recurrent human rights abuses and forced evictions in Badia.
November 2015 In further response to SPACES FOR CHANGE’s petitions and advocacy for the compensation and resettlement of Badia evictees, the Lagos State Government in November 2015, through the Office of Communities and Communications in the Lagos State Ministry of Local Government & Chieftaincy Affairs,  launched an alternative dispute resolution vehicle – known as the Communities’ Conflict Resolution Forum (CCRF) –  for resolving the convoluted legal and human rights issues arising from the November 18, 2015 demolition of Badia community.
May 2016 Despite the series of correspondence and mediation meetings held with the designated government representatives and stakeholders, there was still no projection of justice for the evictees in sight.  SPACES FOR CHANGE approached the Federal High Court in Lagos seeking legal redress for the Badia demolitions vide a fundamental human rights action filed on May 19, 2016 in Suit No: FHC/L/CS/683/16.

 

DEVELOPMENTS IN 2017

 

The schedule of events chronicled above not only highlight the frequency at which demolition exercises have been executed in Badia-East, but further expose the fierce contest for ownership of the coveted prime land in Badia. As facts demonstrate, the Federal Government, the Lagos State Government, Ojora family and Badia East residents currently lay competing claims to the land, but with the latter (the residents) bearing the brunt of the destructive interventions that the persisting land conflicts trigger. The factsheet below shed further light on the confusion, drama and tension associated with the competing land claims, including how state-private actors collude to exploit these land disputes to demolish and take over large swathes of land where the poor live.

 

March 10, 2017 Nigeria Railway Company (NRC) marked houses for demolition in Badia.  NRC claims that the land on which Badia residents live is on the right of way for the 156.65 kilometre rail-line expansion project aimed at delivering a fast and efficient rail service system between Lagos and Ibadan. Vice President Yemi Osinbajo commissioned the project in March 2017, while the contract has been awarded to the China Railway Construction Corporation (CRCC), an affiliate of the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC). Residents were required to push back as much as 1.2 – 1-8meters respectively.
April 19, 2017 Nigeria Railway Company (NRC) repeat visit to Badia community and mark more houses for demolition.
April 20, 2017 SPACES FOR CHANGE petitioned the NRC and held negotiation meeting with Nigeria Railway Company on April 20, 2017, demanding a stop-order directive on further evictions in any part of Badia. Constructive dialogue between SPACES FOR CHANGE, NRC authorities and Badia-East community representatives led to a mutual resolution to suspend the demolitions.
June1-9, 2017 Persons believed to be agents of Lagos State Government’s Ministry of Housing began to construct a fence around the areas inhabited by residents. A bold signpost was mounted indicating that the fenced area is earmarked for Jubilee Housing Estate project in Badia-East
June 10, 2017 Persons believed to be agents of  Ojora Chieftaincy Family stormed the community and destroyed parts of the fence erected by state agents
June 11, 2017 Ojora Family, working in concert with City Pharmaceuticals Limited, return to the community and commenced the demarcation of land boundaries close to Jubilee Estate and the foundation laying for a new structure.
June 12, 2017 Persons believed to be agents of Lagos State Government’s Ministry of Housing return to the land with a battalion of security operatives who guard them as they rebuild the demolished fences.
June 13, 2017 Amid the confusion, SPACES FOR CHANGE despatch letters to various Lagos ministries, especially Ministry of Housing, Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development, to understand the actual authority responsible for the construction activities on the site, and demand state commitment to provide social housing for Badia residents in the proposed Housing Estate. SPACES FOR CHANGE also meet with the Special Adviser to the Lagos Governor on Communications and Communities (Ministry of Local Government and Community Affairs), Mr. Kehinde Bamigbetan, to discuss project scope and impact on community inhabitants.
June 13, 2017 The matter before the court, Pastor Aworetan Olatunde & Ors. v. IGP & Ors, came up for hearing at the Federal High Court (Lagos).
June 15, 2017 Demolition of about 300 structures without notices; assault and arrest of 6 persons including community members and S4C staff. This resulted in the displacement of over 500 persons, loss of property, injury to members, enhancing their vulnerability to inclement weather and other environmental hazards
June 20, 2017 In response to the June 13 petition, Lagos State Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development (MPPUD) and SPACES FOR CHANGE undertake a joint site inspection visit to Badia-East community to investigate the claims in the NGO petition.
June 21, 2017 Lagos State Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development (MPPUD) return to Badia and paste notices in and around the demolished land, demanding City Pharmaceuticals Ltd to halt the ongoing construction project.
June 21, 2017 City Pharmaceuticals Ltd and Ojora Family removed some of the notices pasted by MPPUD and replaced them with a signpost publicizing the 2014 court judgment in suit No.LD/443/2002 that recognized their title to the disputed land area.
June 22, 2017 SPACES FOR CHANGE held a meeting with the Zonal Manager of the Nigeria Railway Company. The Nigerian Railway Company informed that it did not order the demolitions of June 2017. This led to the discovery that Railway Property Management Company (RPMC) was not notified about the demolition, implying trespass to property and illegal arrests of inhabitants. Official masterplan and layout of Iganmu obtained from NRC.
June 22, 2017 SPACES FOR CHANGE donated relief materials to the displaced women and children in Badia.
June 23, 2017 After holding extensive consultations with federal and state ministries,  SPACES FOR CHANGE secure official nod to convene a stakeholder meeting to review thread of events, establish boundaries and titles, clarify agencies or actors responsible for the June 2017 demolitions and the ongoing construction work in the community. Stakeholders’ meeting proposed for July 5-7, 2017.
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