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Govt served Lagos estate demolition notices since 2021, says commissioner | Prestige Real Estate News

Govt served Lagos estate demolition notices since 2021, says commissioner


The Lagos State Commissioner for Environment, Tokunbo Wahab, has disclosed that the government issued the residents of Mende Villa Estate two demolition notices in 2021 and 2023.

The commissioner’s clarification came on the heels of allegations made by a property developer in Mende Villa, who claimed the proper notice was not given before the commencement of the demolition exercise.

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Speaking on Arise TV’s Morning Show on Sunday, he insisted that the government authorities had issued contravention notices and marked the properties slated for demolition before the exercise was carried out on Saturday.

According to Wahab, his predecessor, Tunji Bello, served contravention notices in 2021 to property encroaching on the setback of the System One drainage channel in Mende Villa, Maryland, and upon assuming his role in Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s second term.

He added that the latest notices were issued to the developers in November 2023.

“If there were no notices, how come the Developer has been engaging us with documents and correspondences for the past month?” the commissioner queried.

Wahab further stated that the Lagos Civil Service consisted of the most efficient personnel who would never engage in practices capable of jeopardising their career and future.

He said, “I can say it boldly, we have the best of brains in the Lagos Civil Service and they will not joke with a process that can hurt them and their careers.

“We sat down for over a week and said, run through this process again; let us work back through this process. We’ve given them enough notice for this. Since the past two and a half years, he didn’t dispute the fact that we had to dredge the particular alignment.

“Let us leave out emotions and sentiments. We have a choice to make if we want this country to be good, if we want a better society, we need to take ownership of the truth. The truth is, they were served notices. They were engaging the government but they wanted to eat their cake and have it.”

He also explained that owing to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s magnanimity, the right-of-way was reduced to 100 meters from 140 and spread on a 60/40 basis (60 Mende/40 Ogudu) instead of the initial 140 sitting on the Mende side alone.

He added, “I went there myself, if I was mischievous, I wouldn’t be there with them. I would have given the order from the office but I said no, I owe them a duty to explain to them that even the governor had approved that we reduced the width from 140 to 100.”

The commissioner emphasised that the executive did what it believed was for the overriding public interest, reiterating the residents were served demolition notices twice.

He also urged those who feel their rights have been violated to seek redress through the court.


“Are one or two persons hurt? I’ll tell you maybe yes, maybe no. But I can tell you we served them notices since 2021 and the honourable member representing them is aware of it. We’ve had meetings upon meetings but the rains have started and the government needs to do what they have to do,” he posited.

On Saturday, the Lagos State Government reclaimed the Right of Way of the Odo-Iya Alaro channel by demolishing a part of the Arowojobe and Mende Estate villa.

The Minister of Environment and Water Resources, Mr Tokunbo Wahab, disclosed it on his X account.

He wrote, “Earlier today, I, the SA on Environment, Hon. Olakunle Rotimi-Akodu, the PS OES, Dr Omobolaji Gaji, PS ODS, Engr. Mahamood Adegbite and other Directors again visited the ongoing reclamation of the drainage setback on System 1 (Odo Iyalaro Ogudu reach).”

The exercise faced a public outcry from different quarters of society, who criticised the government for taking down investments worth millions without proper notice.

Popular Nigerian singer, Yemi Alade, said the action would discourage those interested in investing in real estate in the state.

The Johnny crooner, in a video that surfaced on X Sunday, lamented that many residents slept in their houses and woke up homeless.

She said, “Lagos State, what is going on? Does it make sense that people will invest millions of naira, millions of dollars into real estate? They would buy land and Lagos State would break them; making people homeless overnight. This is done serially. Right now Maryland area is on fire.

“People are sleeping in their houses and waking homeless. You are ruining the real estate value of the state, the country; making people lose trust in the idea of the country.”

In October and November 2023, several buildings were demolished in Lekki, Ikota, the International Trade Fair, Agungi, and some parts of the state.

The state government attributed the demolitions to the illegal sitting of the buildings.

The Director, Ministry of Environment, Director of Public Affairs, Kunle Adeshina, advising property owners whose buildings were yet to be demolished, stressed that the demolition would address “the issue of perennial flooding, which has led to avoidable damage to property and caused fatalities in some instances.”


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