A visually-impaired comedian, Mr. Kelly Egbere, popularly known as Kelly Blind and residents of Glorious Villa Estate, Awoyaya, Abule Parapo, Ibeju-Lekki area of Lagos State, have appealed to the Lagos State Government to immediately look into the injustice allegedly meted on him and members of his community, Skye Bank Trustees, who they alleged demolished their houses without due process of the law.
Kelly Egbere, along with some other members of the Estate, while briefing the press along with their lawyers in Lagos, alleged that Sky Bank Trustees, a subsidiary of Sky Bank Plc, parading a purported court order came into their estate and demolished same, even after the court order was being challenged by their lawyers.
Confirming his position, lawyers to the Glorious Villa Estate Development Association, Mr. Ike Reagan Nzeteh and Mr. Chukwueke Vitalis, said that the court ruling which the Sky Bank Trustees parade and which they are already challenging in court,
does not in any way give them the powers to demolish any property within the estate, a reason the Sky Bank Trustees claimed they only destroyed shanties they met on the land instead of fully developed properties, where people reside.
Besides the case in court where the estate residents are claiming N10billion from the SkyBank Trustees for the over 800 houses allegedly demolished, they are also demanding that their lands by returned to them and the SkyBank Trustees restrained from further harassing them on their land.
Narrating his ordeal, Kelly Blind said when he bought his land in early 2016 from ‘omo onile’ and started developing it, until January 2018 when he completed it and moved into the property on February 4, 2018, nobody came forward to lay any claim to the land.
H said: “It was not until June this year that about 100 policemen came to the community. They posted some notice on our buildings.
“They said the land we bought belongs to them, that they were from SkyBank Trustees, that they don’t want to demolish any building there.
They asked us to come and regularise with their lawyers. They gave us the address and phone number. We went to see the lawyers somewhere around Agungi Osapa London, Lekki Epe expressway. I personally went there to discuss with them since my property was involved.”
According to him, after the visit, they gave the assurance that no property would be demolished.
He said his registered estate, Glorious Villa Estate, where his house is located, engaged a lawyer Barrister John Oloyede, who discussed with the lawyers of the trustees, on behalf of the community.
According to him, on July 3, 2018 the community received a letter that did not show anything about demolition, and he was surprised when on July 21, some group of people, accompanied by some policemen came into the estate to post a 72-hour removal order and it was written with a marker.
Continuing his narration, Kelly said “On Monday, we went to the office of the Lagos Commissioner of Police. When we got to the office, they even mocked us for our anxiety and told us to ignore the notice. However, we did not stop there.
We went to the governor’s office, where we submitted a letter. We did not get a response to that letter.
“On July 23, we were at the office of the governor and the office the police commissioner. On July 24, more than 500 policemen, Lagos State task force officials, with about 15 Black Maria, and more than 80 prisoners, came to the area and held the community to ransom. They started to demolish our houses.”
He claimed that his bungalow which he built with over N20 million, because it was a disabled friendly bungalow with properties worth over N6 million was demolished without the opportunity to remove anything.
“More than 800 houses in the community were demolished. As I speak, from July 25 till date, we have been faced with unbearable living conditions.
“As a blind man in this country, I have tried my best as all my life saving were used to build the house. I even built the house in a way that would cater to my disability,” he said