Lagos State government at the weekend, demolished an uncompleted building in Banana Island for lack of proper authorisation and documentation.

The structure was demolished after the State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, visited the site and directed the owner to stop further development.

Speaking during the demolition, the Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Oluyinka Olumide, reiterated commitment to take legal action against individuals found reclaiming lands and building structures without proper authorisation and documentation.

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The commissioner, who oversaw the removal of the non-compliant structure, lamented that people deliberately reclaim land without going through the right process.

“There is law and everybody is supposed to adhere to the law.

“The law is supposed to guide society. Here, lawless activities are taking place whereby people are on their own, deliberately reclaiming land for the purpose of their own development, which is very bad.

“The power line was even made at the centre of the lagoon. The filling is almost up to the power line, which is not safe for human habitation, we are not going to tolerate this, because the waterway must also be there, and must have free flow.

“We are not going to allow anybody to violate the laws of the land. Nobody will reclaim land for the purpose of their personal interest in terms of development. It is not allowed. It doesn’t make sense,” he said.

The commissioner emphasised that the government won’t allow anybody to violate the laws of the land.

According to him, there is a ministry in charge of reclamation, water resources and water front, adding that a lot of studies must take place before an individual talks of fiscal sites reclamation.

“It is not in the purview of individuals, it is an exclusive right of the government for land reclamation,” Olumide emphasised.

The General Manager of Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA), Gbolahan Oki, who led the demolition team, regretted that the owners continued to build in defiance of the governor’s order.

He stressed that the developer was given directives on what to do but continued without doing the right thing.

He said: “I was surprised when I got information that the developer has moved to site, done a lot of reclamation, and also fenced the place, that is gross infraction and we won’t tolerate that in the name of wanting to build an estate.”

“There are laws, there are planning rules and regulations that must be followed irrespective of whoever you are, where you are building it, nobody is above the law, law is meant for everybody, we are to abide by it and we are going to take it to the fullest.”

Oki explained that before building any structure, individuals must have the necessary documents like certificate of occupancy, building plan approval, among others.

He added that the lawyer in charge of such land should make sure that such documentation is valid.