By Ogbolu George
The Lagos state government has said it will appeal the High Court ruling halting the demolition programme of the waterfront Otodo Gbame settlements and branding it “unconstitutional”.
Steve Ayorinde, the Lagos State commissioner of information disclosed this while speaking with the Thomson Reuters Foundation on Tuesday.
“The Lagos state government will exercise its constitutional right to appeal a judgment that we do not agree with,” he said.
A Lagos government statement on Monday said the court erred in its ruling that the demolitions were illegal because “there was no demolition in Otodo Gbame before the case was filed.”
“There was a fire in Otodo Gbame caused by a violent clash between two rival cult groups. The fire destroyed the community with no residents and property remaining because the burnt shanties were built with corrugated sheets, woods and bamboos,” the statement read.
Governor Akinwunmi Ambode visited the community after the incident and stopped reconstruction of the shanties, the statement said, directing those living on the waterfront to leave “for security reasons”.
The High Court issued its ruling on June 21 after a case against the demolitions was launched by the Lagos-based human rights group, Justice and Empowerment Initiative.