Amnesty International wants police investigation into Otodogbame demolition, death

The human rights group, Amnesty International, has called on the Inspector-General of Police to order an investigation into last weekend’s forced eviction, demolition of properties, and death of a youth at Otodogbame, a waterfront community in Lekki, Lagos.

In a statement on Monday, the group said those responsible for the “deliberate destruction of properties” must be held responsible.

“The Lagos state government must stop using ‘security threats’ as an excuse to carry out forced evictions, which are prohibited under international human rights law,” said Morayo Adebayo, Amnesty International Nigeria Researcher.

“We are extremely concerned that despite an existing court order prohibiting the demolition of Otodo Gbame, Lagos State government continues to forcibly evict, assault, and endanger the lives of its residents.

“The Inspector General of Police must immediately order an investigation into the deaths, deliberate destruction of property, and forced eviction of the fishing community Otodo Gbame along Lagos’ waterfronts and hold to account those responsible.”

Armed officials of the Lagos State Task Force, over the weekend, returned to Otodogbame to begin fresh demolition of structures and shanties.

One resident was shot in the neck and died before medical help could reach him.

Two others – one of them shot in the chest – were in critical conditions at the Lagos Island General Hospital, witnesses had told PREMIUM TIMES on Sunday.

The latest demolition came three weeks after a wave of demolition, despite a subsisting court order, rendered an estimated 5,000 people homeless.

In its statement, Amnesty International called for adequate, alternative housing to be urgently provided for those that were forcibly evicted from the community and who are now at risk of homelessness.

“That these communities live in such hazardous conditions at all is a failure of the government to meet the demands of rapid urbanization and its human rights obligations to provide adequate housing for everyone.”


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