Lagos slum demolitions leave thousands homeless

Amnesty International seeks enquiry after waterfront shanty towns demolished.

Human rights group Amnesty International has called for an investigation into the demolition of a Lagos waterfront shanty town, accusing state authorities of acting in contravention of a court order.

Amnesty alleges that up to 30,000 people have been left homeless after the demolition which follows the allegedly deliberate torching of the Otodo Gbame community in the Lekki district.

Local residents claim that police blocked their efforts to put out the blaze, before returning later with a demolition team. Amnesty International said those made homeless should be given alternative accommodation.

In October the Lagos state government ordered that the city's makeshift waterfront settlements must be razed as they pose a "security threat". However Otodo Gbame residents subsequently secured a court injunction preventing authorities from proceeding with its planned demolition of informal settlements.

In recent years developers have begun building waterside apartments and shops in Lekki, pushing out the impoverished residents.