Over 500 houses illegally built on a land owned by the Police at Atipolome community in Mowo area of Badagry, Lagos State, have been demolished.
The land covering over 64 hectares was acquired by the Police in 2006 and a Certificate of Occupancy was issued in 2008.
Although members of the community admitted they had no government approval on the land, they explained that they bought the property from land grabbers, popularly known as “omo onile.”
It was gathered that the land grabbers started encroaching on the land when the Police authorities failed to put the land to use. However, on noticing the encroachment, the Police in 2011 issued a quit notice to the illegal owners of the houses to vacate their land.
Series of quit notices came after, with the last one served to them two weeks preceding the demolition ordered by the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, after the illegal occupants refused to heed the quit notice.
Over 200 armed policemen and seven bulldozers took part in the demolition operation which was led by Assistant Commissioner of Police, Osu Ekpo.
The exercise caught some of the occupants of the houses unawares, as many of them could not retrieve their properties while a few others were only able to recover a few of their belongings.