FAAN, Lagos Govt to demolish 2,000 structures at MMA
Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) are planning to commence demolition of buildings illegally built within the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA), Lagos, have reached an advanced stage, Independent report.
A source close to the agency confided in our correspondent at the weekend in Lagos that FAAN was working closely in collaboration with the Lagos State government to commence the demolition exercise.
If FAAN carries out its threat, no fewer than 2,000 illegal structures at the Ajao Estate and Shasha area of the airport may be affected.
Investigation carried out revealed that some of the houses at the Ajao Estate and Shasha areas of the airport were built close to the runway, while hundreds of such buildings have encroached into FAAN’s land.
For instance, a particular estate at the Ajao area of the airport named Runway View Estate because of its closeness to the runway.
Efforts by FAAN to dispossess the illegal occupiers of the structures in the past were not successful.
Many of the occupiers had approached different courts across the country to stop FAAN from carrying out its threat of demolition, but it was gathered that the efforts may be positive this time around as the management had involved the state government.
In one of its meetings with the state government, it was gathered that both parties resolved to jointly embark on inspection tours of the structures to determine their proximity to the airport, especially the runway.
It was not immediately clear if the parties had commenced the inspection of the structures, but it was gathered that unlike in the past, the current management of FAAN is more determined to ensure compliance with the international standards and recommended practices.
The situation may have caused the occupants of the buildings sleepless nights as some of them are currently hurrying to regularise their papers in order to legally lay claims to their properties.
Some of the alleged illegal occupiers were also using their connections in government to stop FAAN from carrying out its threat.
The source said: “This is a big issue. The management is working on that (illegal structures). Ajao Esate and Shasha are close to the runway, but the management and the Lagos State government are collaborating to find a lasting solution to this threat. We intend to demolish such houses.
“None of them has valid documents to build any structures where they are presently occupying. Anyone that claims to have valid documents to the properties is holding a fake one. Those buildings are inside the fence. They are just marking time. At the appropriate time, they will be sent packing.”
In March 2015, the Court of Appeal sitting in Lagos ruled against the illegal acquisition of an expanse of land belonging to FAAN by some residents of Shasha area of Lagos.
The suit was instituted by Jacob Oyerinde Ajibola and 24 others against FAAN.
But Justice Abimbola Osarugue Obaseki-Adejumo, in his ruling, declared that the acquisition of the land by the Federal Government was legal and that the respondents had no locus standi to institute the action.
The court also held that the first respondent was not diligent in his search before concluding the sale for the land, stressing that the respondents also failed to join the Federal Government which actually acquired, gazetted the acquisition and transferred the land to the minister responsible for civil aviation, who subsequently in 1976, pursuant to section 1(2) of the Nigerian Airport Authority Decree No. 45 of 1976, transferred the said land to the appellants.
The court also ruled that “there was no dispute between the Nigerian Airports Authority (as FAAN was then known), which inherited the land in 1975 and claimants to the land in 1977. Locus standi is the right of a party to an action to be heard in litigation before a court of law or tribunal.”