Several claims have trailed the demolition of 11 Plc (mobil) filling station by the Lagos State Government, The Mobil Service Station located at Maryland, area of Lagos, was brought down on Monday, December 7, 2020, causing confusion as to why the government carried out the act on a private business.
In a statement on Tuesday, Chris-Olumayowa Meseko, the company secretary, said the notice is for “proper guidance and information of the public and to eschew all form of speculation regarding the incident”.
11 Plc said the demolition was done through right of compulsory acquisition for public purpose, “This is to inform the shareholders of 11 Plc, stakeholders and the general public that the demolition of the Mobil Service Station at Maryland, Lagos State on 7th of December 2020, was carried out pursuants to the valid exercise of the right of compulsory acquisition for public purpose by the Lagos State Government following due process” the notice read.
What You Need To Know About Right Of Compulsory Acquisition
All land in the country belongs to the government, including states, but individuals have Right of Occupancy, which identifies the person as owner of the property. But the constitution gives state government right of compulsory acquisition of property which is owned by an individual.
The right of compulsory acquisition enable the government to request for the land, asking the occupant or individual with Right of Occupancy to vacate the land or premises – the government can take over the property with or without the consent of the individual. However, the use of right of compulsory acquisition is only allowed for public purposes – that is, the acquisition is of public interest or will benefit the public.
Government is compelled to compensate the individual with Right of Occupancy to enable the individual vacate the land – in the case the government refuses to compensate the individual, such person has the right to seek for court order – failure to compensate the individual could nullify the take over of the land.
The government must also inform the individual personally, reasons for the acquisition, if the government doesn’t, then taking over the property could still be nulified. And should the ‘public interest’ reason not be convincing to the individual, he or she can also seek court intervention.
If the government transfer the land to another person or didn’t use it for the public purpose, then the initial owner of the land can seek the court to retrieve the property or such land must be de-acquire to the holder of Right of Occupancy.
The demolition has generated various reactions on social media.