The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) Tuesday provided an insight into the demolition of 13 houses at Ajao Estate in Lagos, insisting the buildings constituted a threat to aviation safety and security.

Daily Trust reports that there has been outrage since last week when the FAAN authorities with the support of the Lagos State government demolished 13 properties in Ajao Estate including a highbrow hotel.

Some of the owners of the demolished properties have accused the state government of targeting properties belonging to the Igbos for not voting for the ruling party in the last election.

But our correspondent reports that the demolished properties in question belonged to FAAN but the Authority also secured the support of the state Building Control Agency (LASBCA) to carry out the demolition.

One of the owners of the demolished properties, Mr. Felix Abugu who is a former Editor of The Guardian on Saturday said his house valued at over N70 million where he lived with his family until Friday, April 28, 2023, stood on a plot of land bought 12 years ago from the Baale Adejumolu family of Isolo, and located within the Runview/Mercy Estate owned by FAAN, some five kilometers to the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMA), Ikeja, Lagos.

He recalled that all the landowners bought from the Adejumolu family on the basis of a court judgment shown to each and every buyer by the family, indicating that the land belonged to the family.

Speaking on the demolition, FAAN through its Ag. General Manager, Corporate Affairs, Mrs. Faithful A. Hope-Ivbaze explained that the encroachment was noticed as far back as 2008 while the illegal occupants were duly notified.

At that time, FAAN explained that some residents of Ajao axis of the encroached land, under the aegis of “Runview Cooperative” approached the Authority for regularisation of their stay on the land.

It said, “To avoid a situation of wanton damage and colossal losses, the present administration on assuming office, inaugurated a “Regularisation Committee on FAAN Encroached Lands and Property “.

According to the spokesperson, “The committee was charged with finding ways of identifying and regularising only those properties located in positions that do not pose a direct and critical challenge to airport safety and security.”

The statement said that in the committee’s report submitted in 2022, out of 254 buildings evaluated, 220 buildings were recommended for regularisation, as they posed “no direct/critical security and safety challenges to the Airport,” adding that they have been duly regularised.

The authority further explained that the occupants of these buildings were duly notified of the impending demolitions, and an intensive awareness campaign through “stop work” markings and planting of notice boards within the Red Zone.




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