Lagos policemen, wives protest demolition of barracks, short eviction notice
Policemen and their family living in a barrack in Ikeja, Lagos have protested against the short eviction notice served to them by the police authorities.
Their home, which is the veterinary clinic block of the Police Mounted Troops Barracks, Mobolaji Bank Anthony Way, Ikeja, has been allegedly scheduled for demolition.
The buildings in the main barracks could not accommodate all the policemen and their families, hence some of them were moved to the veterinary clinic block primarily built for the treatment of animals, The Punch reports.
The leader of the affected women, who identified herself simply as Mrs Danban, said, “This whole thing started on February 8, 2022, when we suddenly saw some men from a construction company with bulldozers and men with shovels and other equipment, who told us that they wanted to demolish the buildings.
“We raised the alarm and some of our men who were around also came out when the noise of the commotion was much. We blocked the road leading to the barracks and went to the officer-in-charge of the barracks, who promised to look into the matter.
“The next day being February 9, the police authorities pasted a notice on our premises giving everybody 24 hours to move out of the buildings.
“The OC of the barracks and his second-in-command promised to find alternative buildings to house the people affected by the order. We are begging them to have mercy on us.”
According to The Punch, Mrs. Danban’s husband was sanctioned by the police authorities due to her stance on the issue.
“They said he should move his family out of the barracks or else we would regret being there,” she added.
Another cop, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said he felt betrayed by the police.
He said, “Look at what they have subjected us to with our families and we are serving Nigeria; this is not acceptable because they know that we have nowhere else to go to. We plead with them to find alternative accommodation for us”.
A lawyer, Okungbowa Uhunghama, who wrote a petition on behalf of the affected officers to the Inspector General of Police, Usman Baba, said the quit notice and the speed with which it was executed was a violation of the rights of the policemen.
He said, “Some of the police officers in the barracks confirmed it to me that the order for the demolition of the buildings came from Abuja by the IGP and that is why the police officers’ wives and children must leave their residence by force by fire for the demolition to take place.
“Funny enough, the police are demolishing the residential buildings of their officers and giving it to a private developer to build roads, filling stations, shopping malls, private buildings and residential estates”.
The acting Force Public Relations Officer, CSP Olumuyiwa Adejobi, could not be reached for comments on his telephone line despite many attempts by The Punch.