It took three strenuous years for Kenny Black to finish his home in Ibeju Lekki, Lagos, but in a matter of hours, the bungalow was reduced to rubble.
On July 25, Skye Trustees Ltd, a subsidiary of Skye Bank , led bulldozers and backhoes and scores of armed police officers into Glorious Villa Estate in Awoyaya, and tore down every building on the land measuring 200.184 hectares which housed over 200 homes.
Mr Black, a visually-impaired home-owner, said he bought a land in the estate in 2014 and moved in last February after completing his bungalow.
“They demolished my house on Wednesday and beat me up despite being a blind man and didn’t let me take anything out of my house neither did they let anybody take anything out of their house” Mr Black said.
“My bungalow was a disabled friendly bungalow which I spent N28 million to build and my properties in that house cost over N6 million.”
During a press conference in Lagos last week, Ike Nzetah, a lawyer to one of the homeowners in the estate, said though the land on which the buildings were erected had been earmarked for public use earlier by the administration of Buba Marwa, a former military governor of the state, it was never fully converted.
“When Brigadier General Buba Marwa was the military governor of Lagos State, he took over the land for public use and he had apportioned about N2.5 million as compensation to pay to the owners but didn’t use the land before he left”
Furthermore, “When Bola Tinubu became governor of Lagos State, the land was given to EIB which is Skye Bank Trustee and the owners went to court to challenge the gift of land to Skye Bank Trustees by government. The matter went before Justice Abiru and some Omo onile went with EIB into a consent judgment with the understanding that N40 million will be paid to the original owners.”
Mr Nzetah noted that 52 families owned the land but six of them entered into the consent judgment without the consent of the other 46. And after that the remaining owners did not receive the agreed payment.