*Set to offer free legal assistance to vulnerable tenants
A civil society organisation, the Save Lagos Group has raised an alarm over widespread abuse of the Lagos State Tenancy Law by house owners in the state, with a call on the state government to live up to its obligations of enforcing the law.
According to the Save Lagos Group, there is the need for the state government to save tenants in the state from the house owners who have found an habit in flouting the law which stipulates that prospective and current tenants must pay only six months rents.
The Save Lagos Group in a statement issued on Wednesday by the Convener, Comrade Adeniyi A Sulaiman and the Director, Media, Comrade Olaolu Oladipo also lamented that the home owners have been conniving with some legal practitioners to obtained fictitious judgments that are used for eviction purposes.
The group also alleged that some unscrupulous police officers also engage the legal practitioners and the house owners to carry out the illegality of evicting the hapless tenants, saying the practice is usually carried out on Sunday morning when the victims would be caught unaware.
They (Sulaiman and Oladipo) also indicted some of the legal practitioners for their refusal to follow the law by issuing quit notices before the expiration of the tenancy of the occupier, a move the Save Lagos Group considers as illegal and wicked.
The law was enacted by the immediate past administration of Mr. Babatunde Fashola in 2011 to regulate the relationship between the house owners and their tenants.
Specifically, the group accused the two house owners of issuing quit notices to their tenants before the expiration of their tenancy.
The two tenants , Ms Deborah Ogunlade and Mrs. Yetunde Labode are said to be the latest victims in the hands of the two house owners who are currently harassing them by plotting to obtain a ‘Jankara’ eviction order against them.
Rather for the lawyers to the house owners, to follow Section (24) of the Lagos Tenancy Law which guides eviction of the tenants, they have opted to perfect their scheme in an illegal way by securing the eviction order without bringing the affected tenants into the picture.
A document from one of the house owners, Oyesola Oyewo obtained by the Save Lagos Group indeed confirmed the fears of the civil society organization as the quit notice indeed was issued before the expiration of the Ogunlade’s tenancy.
A closer look at the document shows that while the notice was issued on April 25th, the tenant received it on 1st of June 2016.
On the hand, the counsel to the other house owner, Mr. Ayo Adebosin claimed to have issued a quit notice on Labode on the 27th of June 2016 but Labode received it on August though her rent lapsed on July.
Commenting on the development, Sulaiman stated that “These are clear breaches of the law by the home owners that must not be overlooked by the relevant authorities. What is even more pertinent is the desperation on the part of the house owners to recover the said property by hook or by crook.
“While calling on the state government to be more alive to its responsibilities in ensuring that the provisions of the law are strictly adhered to by the concerned stakeholders, we are also using this platform to called on the lawyers and their clients to desists from these illegal acts of intimidation of their tenants or else, the provisions of the law would be invoked on them.”
This is coming just as the Save Lagos Group has expressed its desire to apply legal action to right the wrongs being carried out by the house owner by offering free legal services to the affected tenants in their bid to secure their fundamental rights to shelter.
The rights violation victims contacts are;
Adeniyi A. Sulaiman Olaolu Oladipo
(Revolutionary Alfa) Director, Media and Strategy
Convener +234 802 765 1109
+234 803 859 1504