Owners of abandoned buildings face imprisonment in Lagos

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It was gathered that the Lagos State Government on Thuresday issued fresh warning to owners of illegal structures and abandoned buildings in Ikoyi, Lekki and Victoria Island, directing them to repossess their properties or face imprisonment.

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Also, the state government insisted on its decision to enforce the original masterplan of Ikoyi, Lekki and Victoria Island, lamenting that illegal occupants and street traders “are committing crimes under the cover of darkness.”

The Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Mr. Tunji Bello, disclosed the resolve of the state government to prosecute the owners of the abandoned buildings after a meeting of the Task Force on Clean-up of Ikoyi, Lekki and Victoria Island in Alausa yesterday.

Bello, who is also the chairman of the task force, disclosed that the state government “has already identified such buildings and will communicate with the owners to dislodge the illegal occupants before taking measures which may include revocation of the Certificate of Occupancy of such structures.”

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Specifically, Bello disclosed that the task force would not hesitate “to seek the invocation of the provision of the State Parks and Garden Law, 2011 as it affects landscaping and beautification of such properties.”

Under the law, the taskforce chairman said all property owners who fail to landscape and beautify their properties as specified under the Parks and Garden law of 2011 law are liable to prosecution that may attract a jail term of sixmonths imprisonment or a fine of N250,000.

He added that the same fate awaits owners of structures harbouring squatters or those who converted their structures to hotels and provided shelters to street traders who commit crimes under the cover of darkness.

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Bello said the taskforce “is already deploying its team to the affected areas in order to commence the clean-up exercise. The team will also secure all the cleared open spaces to prevent a return of the miscreants.

“We do not want to take anybody unawares, that is why we have been embarking on several awareness campaigns to sensitise the property owners and squatters in the affected areas to please comply with the law as no defaulter would be spared when the Clean-Up exercise commences in earnest.”

In Victoria Island, for instance, Bello listed the major streets, which he said would be affected to include Ahmadu Bello Way, Adetokunbo Ademola Street, Bishop Aboyade Cole Street, Samuel Manuwa Street, Sanusi Fafunwa Street, Karimu Kotun Street, Tiamiyu Savage Street, Ligali Ayorinde Avenue, Water Corporation Close, Ozumba Mbadiwe Avenue, Adeola Hopewell Road, Adeyemo Alakija, Idowu Martins, Kofo Abayomi, Saka Tinubu, Adeola Odeku and Akin Adesola Street.

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In Ikoyi, the taskforce chairman cited areas to be cleaned up to include Awolowo Road, Keffi Street, Falomo Roundabout, Norman Williams, Raymond Njoku Road, Alexander Avenue, Lugard Avenue, Club Road, First and Second Avenues, Federal Secretariat Road, Bank Road, Osborne Road, Glover Road, , Onikoyi Crescent, Cameroon Road, Bourdillon Road and Oyinkan Abayomi Drive.

While in Lekki, areas scheduled for the clean-up exercise are between First Roundabout and Toll-Gate and around Oriental Hotel and Admiralty Way from the Waterfront from Lekki Phase One to Ikoyi Bridge.

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