In ANYTHING on October 25, 2010 at 8:50 am


Social and Economic Rights Action Center

May 11, 2010


The Illegal Demolition of Makoko Community


The Social and Economic Rights Action Center (SERAC) is deeply concerned about the recent acts of lawlessness, indiscipline and brutality perpetrated by officials of the Kick Against Indiscipline (KAI) Brigade.  Between Monday April 19 and 22, 2010, officials of the KAI Brigade assisted by heavily armed policemen invaded a section of the Makoko community, in the Yaba Local Government Area of Lagos and forcibly evicted the  residents by destroying their homes, properties and livelihoods. As a result of this action, over one thousand people, including women, children and the elderly were rendered homeless and pushed deeper into chronic poverty. This action was carried out without adequate notice, consultation, compensation or the provision of alternative accommodation in violation of the rule of law and the fundamental rights of the affected residents.


The residents have lived on the land in question since 1962.  The forbears of many of the residents acquired fee simple legal interest on the land through some of the ancestral land owing families.  It is also important to mention that the question as to the ownership of the underlying land has been and remains a subject matter of a pending lawsuit  Madam Ayinke Ajayi V. Mesu Moses (No. LD/3010/97.)   Until the communmity’s demolition by the KAI Brigade, a large and prominent sign board publishing the case stood in the center of the community.  The demolition carried out by the KAI Brigade constitutes a brazen disrespect of the judicial process and contemptuous of a subsisting order of injunction of the Lagos High Court made on November 3, 1998 restraining all parties “from going or doing anything whatsoever on the land, including passing of any interest on the land…”


Our investigations reveal that the KAI Brigade acted without lawful authority.  Officials of the Brigade informed SERAC that they carried out the demolition in order to rid the community of miscreants and criminals.  Since the demolition, one Captain Paul Rheas (Rtd.), claiming to be a  representative of one of the families (Delfino Miranda Eleiye family) contesting the title to the land in question has openly used the KAI Brigade and armed soldiers to terrorize, intimidate and harass the residents in his bid to commence the fencing of the land in question.  On May 3, 2010, 6 soldiers that accompanied Captain Paul Rheas shot sporadically into the air causing panic and stampede in the community and adjoining neighborhoods.


The active connivance of the KAI Brigade, an agency of the Lagos State Government with private actors to undermine the rule of law and violate the human rights of Makoko residents is unacceptable in a democracy.  This is a dangerous precedent that private individuals that have scores to settle can simply hire KAI Brigade to perpetrate illegality, fraud and hope to hide under the cloak of officialdom.


Makoko is one of nine host communities of the Lagos Metropolitan and Governance Project (LMDGP), a 200 Million US Dollars World Bank-funded project.  Under the terms of agreement between the Lagos state government and the World Bank as well as the Operating Guidelines of the World Bank, demolitions within the project’s host communities must be carried out strictly in accordance with the Bank’s operating policies and guidelines that stipulate safeguards standards.  The Bank’s Operational Guidelines obliges the Lagos State government (LASG) to ensure that proper and reasonable notice, genuine and effective consultation, fair hearing, institutional responsibility, community participation, replacement cost for loss of asset or income, financial assistance to aid relocation are observed and respected. Acts such as perpetrated by the KAI Brigade can undermine the implementation of the LMDGP with far reaching consequences.


We would like to use this opportunity to call on  His Excellency, Governor Raji Fashola to call the KAI Brigade to order, and cause a full investigation to be carried out to establish the circumstances of the demolition of Makoko and to bring erring officials to justice.





Felix C. Morka

Executive Director

Social and Economic Rights Action Center (SERAC)


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