Nigerian court rules against mass eviction in Lagos


The ruins of Otodo Gbame

A series of brutal, government-ordered evictions that left more than 30,000 Nigerians homeless were deemed “unconstitutional” in a landmark decision by the Lagos High Court on Wednesday, activists said.

The judge ordered a stop to future evictions in a move that could prevent an estimated 270,000 other residents of Lagos from losing their prime waterfront homes to development.

The court case against the government – launched by the Lagos-based human rights organisation Justice and Empowerment Initiative (JEI) – was run on behalf of dozens of waterfront communities throughout Lagos state.

“People were dancing in the streets afterward. The judge began reading his lengthy ruling at about 11:30 a.m. and finished around midday,” Megan Chapman, JEI co-executive director, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by telephone.

Justice Adeniyi Onigbanjo…

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