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Lagos Seals-Off 8 Houses, Arrests 9 Over Illegal Construction

For failing to comply with building construction processes and laws, Lagos State Building Control Agency, LASBCA, at the weekend sealed eight more houses at Ebute Metta and Surulere areas of the state. It was gathered that the agency also arrested nine people found on site during the enforcement exercise carried out in collaboration with task force officials. LABSCA had last week shutdown a Redeemed Christian Church of God, RCCG, and several buildings in Ajegunle area of the state. The houses were sealed off at the weekend for various offences, ranging from not obtaining building permit, breaking government seals, adding additional floor without approval, among others.

Some of the building shutdown were located at No.28 Adegbenro Street, Iwaya, Yaba for failing to obtain permit and breaking government’s seal; while another building on 2 Araoti Street was shutdown for adding additional floor to the existing three-storey building without approval and for breaking government’s seal. A Gas Plant being constructed in a residential area on Borno Way, Ebute Metta was also shut for not being approved, while another four-storey building at 9 Coates Street, Ebute Metta was shutdown for adding the fourth floor without approval. A house at No. 1, Rasak Balogun Street, Surulere was shutdown after it was illegally inhabited by squatters who paid money to live inside.

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Over 40 people were evacuated from the building being used as a guest house. People evacuated from the buildings said they paid up to N20,000 monthly to live inside, even after the building was sealed in 2017 for being distressed. One of the tenants, Beneta Joseph said she paid N20,000 monthly to live in the house and that she did not known that it had been sealed by government. Commenting on the development, the General Manager, LASBCA, Engr. Olalekan Shodeinde said the law made it clear that before erecting a building, the developer must obtain a plan approval, which most of the buildings shutdown did not have. He said all the buildings had been previously sealed, but lamented that their owners broke government’s seals to continue development illegally, which he described as a criminal offence punishable under the law. Shodeinde, who was represented by Engr. Oyewole Ganiu, Head, Enforcement Department, LASBCA said the building at I Rasak Balogun Street was shut down last year because it was distressed and that government did not want to lose any life.

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