Residents say one dead, shacks razed as Lagos defies court ban on slum eviction


April 10  – One man was shot dead and another wounded as Lagos state police evicted more than 2,000 residents from waterfront shacks and razed a slum community to the ground, eyewitnesses said on Monday.

Hundreds of residents fled in canoes on the Lagos lagoon after police at dawn on Sunday launched the fourth wave of forced removals from the Otodo Gbame community in six months.

Resident Tina Edukpo said once people had fled to the water, a team of around 20 officers spread out across the slum and poured kerosene onto the wood and metal shacks, firing tear gas and live rounds toward residents shouting from their boats.

One man, Daniel Aya, 20, was shot in the neck and died before his boat could reach hospital, according to another eyewitness, Andrew Maki.

“They started shooting tear gas and guns, people ran, carried their children without any clothes,” Edukpo told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by telephone.

“When they started entering structures they just looked inside, and lit the structure on fire.”

Morayo Adebayo, a researcher for Amnesty International Nigeria, said residents were fired on when they returned to homes to salvage belongings, with Monday Idowu, 17, shot during the violence and needing hospital treatment.

“I was trying to help my mother carry our things to the waterside when I was hit with a bullet in my side. I told my mother to run. Some other boys carried me into a boat and from there to the hospital,” Idowu told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by telephone on Monday.