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Rivers Waterfront Residents Sue State Government Over Demolition

Residents of Diobu Waterfront in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, have approached a Rivers State High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, seeking to stop the state government from further demolition of their houses.

At the case sitting yesterday, the trial Judge, Justice S. H. Aprioku admitted the application for amendment of court process by counsel for the residents whose properties where already destroyed by the state government.

Counsel for victims, Gift Atiedo, had approached the court for an order to stop the government from going ahead to destroy the properties.

It would be recalled that the state governor, Nyesom Wike, in his New Year address, announced that the state government in its bid to tackle insecurity, would dislodge illegal settlements at the waterfront.

Following the announcement, an eviction letter from the state government was served on the occupants of the waterfronts on January 19, 2022, with seven-day ultimatum to vacate.

Residents of the shanties and makeshift structures in the area, however, raised alarm and urged the governor to show human face by providing an alternative settlement or at least pay compensation.

On Wednesday, January 26, 2022, being the last day of the eviction notice, the residents were taken aback by the presence of caterpillars and bulldozers already stationed early in the morning for the eventual demolition.

Some of the affected landlords alleged that owners of concrete buildings at the waterfront were yet to be compensated.

Meanwhile, the court has adjourned the matter till February 28, 2022 for mention.

Addressing the victims of the demolished properties in Diobu, Atiedo informed them that she decided to apply for the amendment which included order of the court to stop the activities of the government and seek for compensation of victims since the government had concluded their action.

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