Ogun State Government on Friday said the demolition exercise carried out on Thursday at the Ajegunle-Araromi community in Sagamu Local Government Area was to remove illegal structures on acquired land.
The Director General for Bureau of Lands and Survey, Arc. Segun Fowora, in a statement, dismissed a protest by some of the illegal occupants, even as he reiterated that the State Government would not condone any illegality in any part of the state.
Fowora disclosed that the 2-kilometre corridor was acquired in 1998 along the Lagos-Ibadan expressway, while necessary compensations were duly paid to the original owners.
He said that the land was earmarked for industrial purposes by the previous administration, emphasizing that the State Government started serving contravention notices on the property owners in 2021 when people started encroaching on the land.
At the time, the structures were few and all at foundation levels. The DG said the clearing exercise began after the expiration of several contravention notices which were ignored by the affected squatters.
Fowora reiterated the importance of the corridor, which serves as the state’s gateway to the outside world, being the major entrance to the state.
“Proper management of the axis is more desirable and controlling development within the corridor is the prerogative of government.
“All developments along the axis must therefore conform with state planning regulation. Any contravention of occupation and developments must face consequences of violating the laws of the state.
“For the purpose of clarification, all illegal occupations and developments on government land are always notified before the government takes appropriate actions against the illegal developments.
“In the present instance, appropriate agencies of government had served several notices of contravention to all the illegal occupiers and developers.
“In line with standard practice, the valuation of existing interest is usually done and compensation paid to those unexhausted improvements.
“However, unknown individuals in flagrant violation of extant laws started building on government land without any valid documents nor title from the state and without building permits from appropriate government agency.
This is an attempt to deprive investors of the right to peaceful and quiet enjoyment of land.
“As a responsive and responsible administration, if this is allowed to stand, it will portray the state as unserious in the committee of foreign investors,” the director general said.
He warned that more of such actions should be expected across the state, particularly those who bent on violating the provisions of the law.
“The members of the public should also note that the state is wary of actions that portray her in bad light.
“Members of the public are hereby advised to conduct necessary due diligence so as not to fall prey to dubious land speculators,” he added.