By Raheem Akingbolu
The Lagos State Government has ordered the reopening of the residences of Lekki Gardens, which had been shut on the instructions of Governor Akinwumi Ambode over a month ago.
The reopening order followed a series of protests embarked upon by Lekki Garden Residents’ and Homeowners’ Associations in the aftermath of a newspaper advertorial inviting investors in the estate to engage the services of a law firm to file a class action to seek judicial reprieve.
After a meeting from which a communique entitled: “Committee of Lekki Garden Residents’ and Homeowners’ Associations,” emanated, the association marched on the office of the Lagos State Governor, in Alausa. Realising that the governor was out of the office at the time of their arrival, they moved on to the neigbourhing Lagos State House of Assembly where they submitted a copy of their communique for onward transmission to the governor.
In the communique, members contradicted the position canvassed in the publication sponsored by Ms. Funke Aboyade that the investors suspected that the buildings being built by Lekki Gardens were defective and that the class action suggested by Aboyade was not in the interest of the residents and owners of the buildings.
According to the communiqué: “Houses developed by Lekki Gardens already belong to investors as the homes are sold ‘off plan’ and that amongst owners of the buildings were very experienced lawyers who have all decided to “identify with and actively work together with the various residents and Homeowners Associations and the Home Owners and Residents Forum of Lekki Gardens Estates in the various steps being taken by them to protect the investments of all the Home Owners, Residents and Investors without exception.”
Ambode ordered that the entire Lekki Gardens estate be evacuated within 14 days, on March 15 following the collapse of the five-storey building under construction in the estate.
Shortly after, the state government ordered the sealing off of the estate, making it impossible for home owners to have access to their homes. But in a statement jointly issued by the residents, they expressed their minds over the issue and urged government to reconsider its decision.
“Having that having bought into the Lekki Gardens estate with our hard earned money we were surprised that on return from work today 20 Wednesday 2016 that we have been locked out from out estate without prior notice”.