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Lagos slum demolition victims win case, court orders compensation

Lagos slum demolition victims win case, court orders compensation

Nigeria

A Nigerian court has ruled on Wednesday that the demolition of a waterfront slum in Lagos last year by state authorities was a violation of the rights of residents.

The Lagos High Court ordered the state to compensate the thousands of residents of Otodo Gbame community for the lack of resettlement plan at the time of the demolition.

The residents were cleared from the area in November 2016 after fire was set in the community of about 30,000 people.

The action followed a call by Lagos State Governor Akinwunmi Ambode on October 9, 2016, to demolish all shanty towns in the state after a visit to Ilubirin, a waterfront community.

Amnesty International urged the government at the time to halt the demolitions, fearing thousands might be made homeless, but the government still went ahead with the exercise at Otodo Gbame.

The residents protested severally, accusing the government of using the police to destroy their homes without any prior notice.

Many of the homeless residents cheered after the court ruling.

The government has not yet commented on the ruling.

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