Epe Demolition: Assembly Summons Tunji Bello, Others

Adeyemi Ikuforiji,  Speaker, Lagos House of Assembly
Adeyemi Ikuforiji, Speaker, Lagos House of Assembly

The Lagos State House of Assembly has summoned the state Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Arc. Toyin Ayinde; his counterpart in the Ministry of Environment, Tunji Bello; and the Permanent Secretary, Lands Bureau, Hakeem Muri-Okunola; to appear before it and explain why the state government should embark on demolition of houses in Epe and  Odoragushin when the Assembly has already issued a stay action order on the matter.

Hon. Segun Olulade who raised the motion under Matter of Urgent Public Importance during a plenary session of the Assembly on Tuesday explained that he received a call from Odoragushi despite the fact that investigation on the issue was going on in the House of Assembly.

Hon. Olulade established the fact that ‘Stay Action’ had been ronounced on the issue to the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development through its Commissioner, Mr. Toyin Ayinde.

The Chairman of the House Committee on Physical Planning and Urban Development, Hon. Mufutau Egberongbe further explained that deliberation was adjourned till the 13th March for the Matter to be concluded only for the ‘Stay Action’ pronouncement to be ignored and the demolition carried out.

Hon. Sanai Agunbiade who also contributed to the issue suggested that henceforth all ‘Stay Action’ pronouncement should be made in written form to act as evidence.  He added that the state Ministries of Physical Planning and Urban Development and Environment as well as the state Lands Bureau should meet and agree on a unifying demolition move so as to work as a single body and get back to the House.

The Speaker of the House Rt. Hon. Adeyemi Ikuforiji added that some of the certificates of occupancy displayed by some residents of the area were acquired illegally saying that the commissioners should appear before the Assembly to shed light on the issue. They are to appear before the House next Tuesday.

In another development, Hon. Lanre Odubote, member, House of Representatives for Epe Federal Constituency, has dissociated himself from the demolition controversy.

Odubote in a statement issued in Abuja on Tuesday stated that he had written to the state Governor, Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN, with a view to stopping the demolision but it seems his efforts have not yielded fruits.

The former Chief Press Secretary to the state Assembly Speaker, Adeyemi Ikuforiji, debunked claims that he was a party to the demolision because he had acquired part of the disputed land. “I don’t know anything about demolision and acquisition. I even wrote to the state Governor on the matter,” Odubote said.

He however appealed to the residents to remain calm as the state government will find lasting solution to the crisis.

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