Activist lawyer and human rights campaigner, Femi Falana, lashed out at the Fashola administration in Lagos State Sunday saying it is promoting murder, orchestrating a massive internal displacement of citizens through forceful eviction, and waging a war of impunity against poor people.
Mr. Falana, reacting to the police killing of the Baale of Makoko in Lagos State by armed mobile policemen for protesting the forceful eviction and demolition of the houses owned by members of his community, said the Lagos State Government should be “held vicariously liable in the circumstance” which he tagged a “willful destruction of properties… that is illegal and unconstitutional.”
He said killers of the Baale of Makoko should be “arrested and prosecuted for murder” and that “monetary damages to the dependants of the deceased whose fundamental right to life has been brutally violated” adding that “those whose houses have been by destroyed the government are equally entitled to compensation that is fair and just.”
Mr Falana blasted the government for giving a 72-hour quit notice on a Friday to prevent the owners from seeking redress in court because, as he argued “Before the expiration of the illegal ejection, the Lagos State Government took the law into its hand by engaging in the demolition of houses without a court order.”
He said this is a “violation of the State Rent Control and Recovery of Premises law that have criminalised the forceful ejection any person resident in Lagos State without an order issued by a competent court and executed by the Sheriff and Bailiff of the court.”
Mr. Falana asked the state government not to spit on its constitutional duty which requires it to “secure full resident rights for every citizen in all parts of the Federation” saying what the government appears to be doing is to capitalise on the poverty of the Makoko people by confiscating their marsh land, develop it with public funds, and then turn round to distribute it to some elite elements, as it happened in Maroko under a military dictatorship.