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Policemen and wives protest eviction from barracks, demand relocation

The notice of eviction from the police authority to the Policemen living in the veterinary clinic block of the Police Mounted Troops Barracks, Mobolaji Bank Anthony Way, Ikeja, Lagos State, have sparked up a protest.

Amidst saying that the notice was brief, the officers demanded relocation alternatives.

BHG-InfoDesk gathered that the policemen and their families have outnumbered buildings in the main barracks, hence some of them were moved to the veterinary clinic block primarily built for the treatment of animals.

Some of the affected police families told our correspondent that a notice was given to them to leave the animal clinic buildings within two days after which force would be used to evict them.

Their departure, they said, was to pave way for a private construction company to demolish the buildings and develop the area for a business venture.

A video clip of the protest by some of the policemen and their wives was seen by our correspondent showed the women singing solidarity songs, while their children cried, as the protesters blocked the road leading to the barracks.

The leader of the affected women, who identified herself simply as Mrs Danban, revealed that on February 8, 2022, they suddenly saw bulldozers attempting to pull down some of the structures.

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She 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 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 paste a notice on our premises giving everybody 24 hours to move out of the buildings.

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“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.”

She also told our correspondent that due to her stance on the issue, her husband was sanctioned by the police authorities.

“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.

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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 on his telephone line despite many attempts by our correspondent.

A text message sent to his number was also not replied to as at the time of filing this report.

Despite many attempts by our correspondent, the acting Force Public Relations Officer, CSP Olumuyiwa Adejobi, could not be reached on his telephone line for a reaction.

A text message sent to his number was also not replied to as of the time of filing this report.

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