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Iwaya community appeals to Ambode over alleged invasion by soldiers

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Residents of Isale Iwaya community in Lagos State have sent a Save Our Soul (SOS) appeal to the state government and security agencies over alleged harassment and demolition of houses by the Nigerian Army Engineering Corps, Abalti Barracks, Ojuelegba.

According to residents, many of whom have been displaced, they are in dispute over the land with the University of Lagos (UNILAG) in an ongoing court case with suit number LD/4331GCMW/17. At the last hearing in court, there was an injunction restricting parties to the dispute from taking any action pending the determination of the suit.

A resident simply identified as Mr. Ireniyi, said to their surprise, the university allegedly used some soldiers without name tags to invade the community on December 3, 2018 and demolish some property in the bid to forcefully eject them from the area. The Guardian gathered that the soldiers went further to began erecting fences and build a makeshift military outpost.

When contacted, however, the Public Relations Officer of the university, Mrs. Taiwo Oloyede, refuted the involvement of UNILAG in the demolition and intimidation of Iwaya residents, stating that the university did not engage the services of any military operative to carry out any demolition. “This information is incorrect. The university did not engage military men to invade Iwaya community nor intimidate residents nor demolish houses,” she said.

Meanwhile, The Guardian was shown a purported video of the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, leading members of the National Assembly with security operatives to address the aggrieved residents on the planned demolition. In the video, he was reported saying though there may be a court injunction but “the judiciary cannot infringe on the constitutional duties of the legislature or the military.”


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