The Lagos State Government at the weekend released a White Paper on the report of the Tribunal of Inquiry into causes of civil disturbances at the Lekki Free Trade Zone (LFTZ), just as it reiterated its commitment to ensuring free access for investors not just in the area but also in other parts of the state.
According to a statement signed by the State’s Commissioner for Information & Strategy, Mr. Steve Ayorinde, the State Government accepted most of the recommendations of the Tribunal part of which included a directive asking that the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Solomon Arase be requested through the State Police Commissioner, Mr. Fatai Owoseni, to take over investigation into the gruesome killing of Managing Director of Lekki Worldwide Limited Alhaji Tajudeen Disu as a fallout of the unrest.
The directive, according to the Commissioner, became imperative owing to the need to resolve the mystery surrounding Disu’s killing
Leaders of the Okunraye community where Disu was murdered on October 12, 2015 had claimed that the late Disu was killed by a stray bullet from mobile policemen attached to the area, while the police in turn issued a statement denying the allegation.
The State Government, in the White Paper, also directed the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives to ensure that all outstanding compensation issues are resolved as soon as possible.
The Ministry was equally directed to ensure that the Resettlement Committee is reconstituted in line with the provisions of the Memorandum of Understanding to enable it perform satisfactorily.
The State Government further directed that “a LFTZ Peace and Security Committee comprising of the Police and representatives of investors of the affected villages be constituted to receive complaints from any party in the zone and will also have further responsibility of taking action to resolve issues referred to, as spelt out in the Memorandum of Understanding.”
Besides, the State Government directed the Lands Bureau to give priority to preparation of Certificate of Occupancy of excised land.
According to the White Paper, the State Government accepted the recommendation of the Tribunal that under no circumstance should payments, irrespective of how insignificant it is, be paid in cash, adding that all payments should be by cheque, duly receipted by the payee in a format that carries the said payee’s name, picture and signature.
The government further accepted the recommendation of the Tribunal that there should be an effective mode of communication and dissemination of information amongst all inhabitants of LFTZ, and directed the Ministry of Local Government and Community Affairs through the Special Adviser for Communities and Communication to create a platform for regular dissemination of information.
The State Government also noted the recommendation of members of the Tribunal on proper stock taking to identify communities that have not been resettled or given possession of land excised to them, and thereafter directed the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives in conjunction with Lands Bureau and the State Valuation Office to identify such communities and complete the resettlement process.
It would be recalled that Governor Akinwunmi Ambode had on October 22, 2015 constituted a six-member Tribunal of Inquiry headed by retired judge of the Lagos High Court, Justice Adesuyi Olateru-Olagbegi to inquire into the remote and immediate causes surrounding the public disorder at the Lekki Free Trade Zone on October 12, 2015 which culminated into Disu’s killing.