…Stage protest in Ikeja High Court premises
Some displaced traders of Olorunda Oyinlola Market on 23 Road, Festac Town in Amuwo Odofin Local Government Area of Lagos State, yesterday, staged a peaceful protest within the premises of the Ikeja High Court, Lagos.
The traders under the aegis Olorunda Oyinlola Market Association had dragged the council, Lagos State government and Federal Housing Authority to court following the demolition of the market on Saturday, December 12, 2020.
They carried different placards with various inscriptions such as “All we are asking for is justice for Olorunda Market, illegal demolition of our market is executive lawlessness”, “The court is the last hope of a common man and “Save us,Valentine Buraimoh,” among others. Speaking on the demolition, their lawyer, Ademola Ogunlana, said goods estimated at about N25 billion were lost to the demolition exercise.
He said: “The demolition of the market is against the law, it is a wicked economic attack, economic sabotage and economic genocide which we are here to stand against. “The council Chairman, Valentine Buraimo, has acted unjustly and the step so far is capable of destroying the lives of the traders.” According to him, the market was constructed about 25 years ago to accommodate over 5,000 traders.
However, goods worth about N25 billion were pulled down without notice. ‘’The land no longer belongs to either Amuwo-Odofin Local Government or Federal Housing Authority but had been allocated to the traders, who constructed the market with their personal money.’’
Describing the demolition as a rape of justice, he said: “The council has failed in its responsibilities as the traders were given allocations with proper documentation under the supervision of the then local council.
“The market association has made efforts to discuss with the council chairman but rather than consider their plights, he sent bulldozers to demolish the traders’ means of livelihood. “We are before Honourable Justice Ogunsanya of Ikeja High Court, where the matter is assigned to and we are saying we cannot fold our arms or keep quite. This is our father’s land and we won’t fold our arms to watch the traders punished unjustly.”
Also speaking, the distraught Iyaloja of the market, Mrs Stella Cookey, said the means of livelihood of the traders have been tampered with, especially at this yuletide.
She said: ‘’There were no notices from the government in regards to the demolition exercise. There was a meeting with the council authorities few months ago where all market leaders in Amuwo Odofin were invited to the council and were told that Oyinlola market did not meet the required standard of the state government but we were yet to reach an agreement when the demolition was hurriedly carried out.”