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Petition to National Buman Rights Commission
Submitteu 26 Septembei 2u1S

Social anu Economic Rights Action Centei
Plot 7S8, Chief Thomas Aueboye Biive
0mole Phase 2, Isheii, Lagos
Tel: +2S4.1.764.6299

Social Bevelopment Integiateu Centie
(Social Action)
SS 0iomineke Layout,
0ff Emekuku Stieet
B-Line, Poit Baicouit
Tel: +2S4.8uS.27S.S96S

Collaboiative Neuia Auvocacy Pioject (CNAP)

Stakeholueis Bemociacy Netwoik (SBN)
Nigeiia Secietaiiat
22 0koioji Stieet
Poit Baicouit
Riveis State
tel. +2S4 (u) 847 447 S8
Septembei 26, 2u1S

Piof. Bem Angwe
Executive Secietaiy
National Buman Rights Commission
9 Aguiyi Iionsi Stieet
Naitama - Abuja, Feueial Capital Teiiitoiy

Beai Piof. Angwe:

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We wiite iegaiuing the 27 }une - 2 }uly 2u12 uemolition anu foiceu eviction of the Abonnema
Whaif Wateifiont community in Poit Baicouit, Riveis State. The Social anu Economic Rights Action
Centei (SERAC) stanus as Counsel of iecoiu to some of the Abonnema Whaif evictees. We have
been instiucteu to file a petition to the National Buman Rights Commission (NBRC) to seek an
investigation into anu aujuuication of the violation of thousanus of Abonnema Whaif Wateifiont
iesiuents' funuamental anu human iights incluuing the iight to faii heaiing, iight to housing, iight
to uignity, iight to foou, iight to woik, iight to auequate stanuaiu of living, anu iight to piivate anu
family life.

Please finu below a petition anu uetaileu memoianuum that SERAC has uevelopeu in collaboiation
with the Abonnema Whaif Wateifiont evictees, the Collaboiative Neuia Auvocacy Pioject (CNAP),
Social Action, anu the Stakeholueis Bemociacy Netwoik (SBN). The petition compiises an
intiouuction, a statement of the facts, suppoiting uocuments, submissions on each of the claimeu
iights violations, anu ieliefs sought by the Abonnema Whaif evictees.

Thank you foi youi uigent attention to this impoitant mattei.


Negan Chapman Nichael 0wemeuimo Celestine Akpobaii }oseph Cioft
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CC: Abonnema Whaif Wateifiont Evictees, co }im Tom ueoige
Chiui 0uinkalu, Chaiiman NBRC
Tony 0jukwu, Biiectoi of Piotection anu Investigation, NBRC
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Social anu Economic Rights Action Centei (SERAC)
26 Septembei 2u1S


1.1. Between 27 }une anu 2 }uly 2u12, the Riveis State uoveinment uemolisheu anu foicibly
evicteu thousanus of iesiuents of the Abonnema Whaif Wateifiont community in Poit
Baicouit, Riveis State. The Social anu Economic Rights Action Centei (SERAC) stanus as
Counsel of iecoiu to some of the Abonnema Whaif evictees. We have been instiucteu to
file a petition to the National Buman Rights Commission (NBRC) to seek an investigation
into anu aujuuication of the violation of thousanus of Abonnema Whaif Wateifiont
iesiuents' funuamental anu human iights incluuing the iight to faii heaiing, iight to
housing, iight to uignity, iight to foou, iight to woik, iight to auequate stanuaiu of living,
anu iight to piivate anu family life.

:P? QC.C(K(FC E! !.4CQ

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2.1. Befoie the foiceu eviction of 27 }une - 2 }uly, 2u12, Abonnema Whaif Wateifiont was a
community once compiising of well ovei 6S,uuu peisons living in ovei 6uu stiuctuies
most of whom hau foi seveial uecaues settleu anu liveu theiein when the community
was still known as Angala Pele-Poku, the fishing poit, tiauing camps anu settlements of
the Kalabaii Ijaw. Foi ovei hunuieu yeais the Kalabaii Ijaw hau been iesiuing anu
caiiying on theii faiming, fishing, seafaiing, timbei tianspoiting, boat builuing, anu
businesses in this histoiic settlement, which eventually took the name Abonnema Whaif.

2.2. The eaily settleis of theii community incluue Chief Chief 0gboiutubo ueoigewill, Chief
Bagshaw Yellowe, Chief Lulu Will-Biiaue, Chief Bonalu Wokoma, Eluei Sunuay Egeue,
Chief Bick Tom-Big Baiiy, Eluei ueioge Suki, Eluei }onah Bagogo-}ack, anu Chief
Queenboy Egeue West. Piioi to theii occupation of the community, anu many yeais
befoie the city of Poit Baicouit came into being, theii foiefatheis useu cumbeisome
manual methous to ieclaim the then wetlanus anu uevelop them to a level that is
auequate foi human habitation. The histoiical facts aie well uocumenteu fiom the time
of the Eastein Region with iefeience to uazette No S8; vol. 14 uateu Nay 1S, 196S at
pages B129 to B1S2. The Riveis State of Nigeiia 0fficial uazette, No 16, vol. 1S of August
2S 198S, pages B98 - B99 also maue iefeience to the 0kiika Ijaw Wateifiont Settlement.

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2.S The people of Abonnema Whaif community aie peace loving anu law-abiuing citizens of
Nigeiia, anu to enhance the social oiueiliness foi which they aie known, they put in
place leaueiship stiuctuies compiising: the Bouse 0wneis Association, the Community
Bevelopment Committee (CBC), anu youth anu women's gioups. See !"#$%$& (, a
Ceitificate of CBC Registiation ceitifying the Abonnema Whaif Community Bevelopment
Committee as uuly iegisteieu with the Community Relations Buieau in accoiuance with
Beciee 4 of 1984 uateu 1Sth Novembei 2uu1.

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2.4 Sometime in August 2uu7, uuiing the 0mehia auministiation, Abonnema Whaif
iesiuents leaint thiough the iauio about the Riveis State uoveinment's plans to caiiy
out an uiban ienewal exeicise puipoiteuly uesigneu to chase out ciiminals fiom the city
anu to iestoie the "gaiuen city status" of Poit Baicouit, which woulu involve
uemolishing any stiuctuie(s) peiceiveu to be haibouiing ciiminals. Following the
Supieme Couit's iemoval of uoveinoi 0mehia fiom office, uoveinoi Rotimi Amaechi
assumeu office, anu shoitly theieaftei, began to make the same thieats.

2.S. The Riveis State uoveinment's publicly stateu iationale foi wanting to uemolish
Abonnema Whaif changeu iepeateuly ovei the yeais between 2uu8 anu 2u12, fiom
"uiban ienewal" to "ciime fighting" to acquisition thiough a "buy-out" scheme foi a
piivate puipose, suspecteu at fiist to be sale oi hanuovei to Silveibiiu Showtime
Limiteu; othei piivate inteiests have since emeigeu, incluuing a Sahaia 0il Tank Faim.

2.6. The Abonnema Whaif wateifiont community was thiown into panic anu confusion by
two uemolitions on 0ctobei 2uu8 anu Febiuaiy 2uu9 in the neighbouiing Njemanze
community anu along Abonnema Whaif ioau that iazeu uown 67 houses staiting fiom
the Integiateu Cultuial Centei, Njemanze }unction, up to the Shell Kiuney Islanu uate.
S2S peisons weie ienueieu homeless as a iesult of the exeicise anu, till uate, most
piopeity owneis anu tenants weie nevei compensateu oi iesettleu foi the uemolition.

2.7. Shoitly aftei these uemolitions, the Riveis State uoveinment, without any foim of
consultation with Abonnema Whaif iesiuents, commissioneu a piivate agency, Iueozu
anu Paitneis anu 0tchay 0koiji anu Associates to enumeiate anu value the iemaining
houses along Abonnema Whaif ioau. The valueis uemanueu anu extoiteu money fiom
many iesiuents anu attempteu to inuuce piopeity owneis to make clanuestine
aiiangements with them to inflate the values of some piopeities. They also foisteu
unilateially piepaieu poweis of attoiney (P0A) on the house owneis anu lanuloius.

2.8. Resiuents weie so infuiiateu anu uisgusteu by the conuuct of the valueis anu the
mannei in which the valuation was conuucteu, anu as a iesult, petitioneu the Riveis
State uoveinment ueciying the massive iiiegulaiities attenuing the exeicise.

2.9. Following this lettei of piotest, the then-Special Auvisei to the Riveis State uoveinoi on
Wateifiont Bevelopment, Ni. Theouoie ueoigewill inviteu house owneis to a meeting
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anu piomiseu them that theii houses will not be uemolisheu. Be also appealeu to them
to allow the enumeiation exeicise to continue.

2.1u. Shoitly theieaftei, iesiuents weie suipiiseu to see theii own builuings maikeu foi
uemolition, anu seveial inteiest gioups within theii community such as the Abonnema
Whaif CBC, anu the Abonnema Whaif Bouse 0wneis Association, thiough vaiious
means, sought auuience with the Riveis State uoveinment uiging them to ieveise the
planneu uemolition of theii homes, chuiches, businesses anu houses.

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2.11. The Abonnema Whaif Community Bouse 0wneis Association pioposeu uetaileu
alteinatives to the wateifiont uemolitions anu submitteu these to the Riveis State
Economic Auvisoiy Council. These submissions uigeu the Riveis State uoveinment to
uigently consiuei options of $( 6$/E upgiauing oi sites anu seivices schemes, anu othei
methous of ensuiing access to affoiuable housing foi all of Poit Baicouit's iesiuents.

2.12. Fiom 12 to 16 Naich 2uu9, the 0niteu Nations BABITAT (0N-BABITAT), the Social anu
Economic Rights Action Centei (SERAC) anu othei conceineu agencies conuucteu a
multi-stakeholuei fact-finuing mission to Poit Baicouit to veiify the thieateneu foiceu
evictions anu uemolitions in Poit Baicouit in the context of the Riveis State
uoveinment's on-going uiban uevelopment anu ienewal piogiamme. The 0N-
BABITAT's uetaileu analysis ievealeu that "the uemolitions aie caiiieu out in the
absence of the appiopiiate institutional fiamewoik anu in aibitiaiy application of the
piovisions of the State's planning legislation," anu accoiuingly pioffeieu a set of
iecommenuations that encouiages the Befenuants to initiate "a sustainable uiban
uevelopment piocess in Poit Baicouit that is baseu on a balanceu iecognition of the
neeu to ie-establish uevelopment contiol anu to iespect the basic iight of all city
uwelleis to auequate housing anu piotection fiom foiceu eviction." See (R3*/*+ J foi a
copy of the 0N-BABITAT iepoit uateu August 22, 2uu9.

2.1S. As the Riveis State uoveinment continueu to ignoie the community's pleas foi
consiueiation of alteinatives, they became moie ueteimineu to challenge the pioposeu
uemolition of theii houses anu ueployeu a vaiiety of peaceful means to ventilate theii
giievances, incluuing piotests by women gioups anu neighbouiing communities.

2.14. When the Riveis State uoveinment senseu that the level of opposition was incieasing,
the Befenuants intiouuceu the "buy out" aiiangement unuei which house owneis weie
compelleu to give up theii houses anu piopeities foi sale to the uoveinment.

2.1S. Bespite piessuie fiom the Riveis State uoveinment, community iesiuents at no time
offeieu theii piopeities foi sale, anu neithei uiu they want to sell theii homes,
piopeities anu businesses foi any puipose whatsoevei.

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2.16. The community uiu not paiticipate in the selection anu valuation of theii piopeities by
the uiffeient valueis appointeu by the Riveis State uoveinment ovei the yeais anu
neithei have they been caiiieu along in the aiiangements affecting theii community.

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2.17. Because of the uoveinment's insistence on pioceeuing with theii planneu "buy out" anu
uemolition of the Abonnema Whaif Wateifiont community, the community membeis in
Novembei 2uu9 fileu Suit No. PBC22862uu9, I$+ N"+ O1".81 P Q.6 0R *S1#E/$01
O"01.(". "C 7$01.6 !/%/1 at the Riveis State Bigh Couit in Poit Baicouit.

2.18. The Riveis State uoveinment weie uuly seiveu with the oiiginating piocesses in the
above case anu, subsequently, a Notion on Notice seeking inteilocutoiy injunctions to
pieseive the status quo, but in cleai contiavention of the Rules of Pioceuuie of the Bigh
Couit of Riveis State, the uoveinment ignoieu anuoi iefuseu to iesponu foi neaily two
yeais. Woise, uespite the penuency of the suit, the Befenuants continueu theii thieats
anu acts aimeu at foicing "buy out" of homes, business places anu community facilities.

2.19. Aftei neaily two yeais, on Novembei 11, 2u11, the Couit maue an Ex Paite 0iuei of
Inteiim Injunction iestiaining the Riveis State uoveinment fiom caiiying out the thieat
to uemolish anu foicefully evict the lanuloius, iesiuents, tenants anu piopeity owneis of
Abonnema Wateifiont Community, penuing the ueteimination of the Notion foi
Inteilocutoiy Injunction, to be heaiu Novembei 18, 2u11 foi heaiing.

2.2u. The 0iuei was piomptly seiveu on the Riveis State uoveinment, wheieupon it
huiiieuly commenceu a fluiiy of activities filing one piocess aftei the othei,
withuiawing anu ieplacing two piocesses they initially fileu in Novembei-Becembei
2u11 with a Notion on Notice uateu Naich 9 2u12 seeking, $(/1. %&$%, an oiuei vacating
the Ex Paite 0iuei of Novembei 11, 2u11, oi in the alteinative, an 0iuei extenuing time
to file anu seive theii statement of uefence anu accompanying piocesses.

2.21. Because of all the uelay causeu by the filing of these piocesses, on Naich 1S, 2u12,
Counsel to the Claimants piuuently piayeu the Couit foi anothei 0iuei of Inteiim
Injunction foi the pieseivation of the .16 penuing the heaiing of the Notion on Notice.
Bowevei, Counsel to the Riveis State uoveinment stiiuently uenial of any thieat of
uemolition of any stiuctuies within the Abonnema Whaif Community, anu insisteu that
the Claimants weie meiely ciying wolf anu hau obtaineu the 0iuei of Inteiim Injunction
unuei false alaim. The Couit theiefoie ueclineu to giant the Claimants' piayei.

2.22. Sometime in Nay 2u12, some community membeis weie summoneu by text message to
a Neeting of Stakeholueis, at which ceitain community membeis weie infoimeu of a
unilateially ueteimineu compensation scheme that was to be foisteu upon ceitain
piopeity owneis unuei the "buy-out" scheme.

2.2S. The Riveis State uoveinment iepiesentatives at the meeting uismisseu the issue of a
penuing suit with a wave of the hanu anu the meeting enueu in a stalemate uue to the
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uoveinment's fixeu postuie on the issues of uemolition anu compensation. The
uoveinment message to those piesent was that they hau no choice but to accept
whatevei amount hau been ueteimineu as compensation thiough unilateial valuation
piocess because Abonnema Whaif woulu be uemolisheu one way oi the othei.

2.24. Although some people succumbeu to the uoveinment's thieats anu intimiuation anu
accepteu to be paiu compensation in an amount they uiu not even have the benefit of
knowing in auvance of theii consent, many continueu to steaufastly iefuse.

2.2S. Accoiuing to the Amnesty Inteinational iepoit on the uemolition of Abonnema Whaif,
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2.2S. At appioximately 7 a.m. on 27 }une 2u12, agents of the Riveis State uoveinment
uescenueu on the Abonnema Whaif Wateifiont community, uemolisheu homes,
businesses anu community facilites inuisciiminately, without notice oi time foi owneis
oi iesiuents to collect theii belongings, anu iegaiuless of whethei oi not the owneis hau
been compensateu oi hau even accepteu the puipoiteu buy-out scheme.

2.26. The bulluozeis anu cateipillais mobilizeu by the uoveinment opeiateu continuously
ovei the following uays until 2 }uly 2u12, ieuucing the entiie community to iubble anu
leaving behinu only a single thiee-stoiy builuing, which useu to be a hotel anu, since the
uemolition, is being useu to house secuiity peisonnel. See (R3*/*+ 4 foi seveial
newspapei aiticles about the uemolition fiom vanguaiu, Tiue News, National Netwoik
Newspapei, anu (R3*/*+ H foi seveial photogiaphs taken by community membeis
uuiing the uemolition of Abonnema Whaif anu its afteimath, fuithei eviuencing the use
of bulluozeis anu the total uestiuction of the Abonnema Whaif community.

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2.27. At no time at oi aftei the Nay 2u12 meeting was theie any notice of a planneu oi
scheuuleu uemolition to affecteu peisons in the Abonnema Whaif community. Insteau,
on the two nights piioi to the uemolition, the uoveinment stageu a seiies of gunfiie
inciuents in the community anu subsequently useu the excuse of "fighting ciime" to
justify theii unannounceu entiy into anu complete uestiuction of Abonnema Whaif. 0n
27 }une anu iepeateuly thioughout the seveial uays of uemolition, uoveinoi Amaechi
maue public statements on aii that he hau been infoimeu of a shoot-out in Abonnema
Whaif anu, as a consequence, he hau to oiuei the uemolition of stiuctuies involveu.

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2.28. What is woise, these announcements that piemiseu the uemolition on "ciime fighting"
misleu many iesiuents into thinking, at least foi a shoit time, that theii stiuctuies might
not be uemolisheu. Fuithei, the timing of the suuuen uemolition commencing 27 }une
2u12 contiauicteu the commitments maue by the Riveis State uoveinment in a seiies of
public announcements via iauio that the "buy-out" piocess woulu concluue fiist anu
eveiyone woulu then be given a month's notice befoie any uemolition woulu take place.

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2.28. 0n 26 }une 2u12, the uay befoie the uemolition, at least 12u young men anu women in
the Abonnema Whaif community weie aiiesteu anu uetaineu foi seveial uays while the
uemolition went on, uepiiving them of the oppoitunity to iescue theii possessions anu
leaving theii wives, motheis, sisteis anu chiluien without uefence oi assistance.

2.29. When these young men weie ieleaseu on 28th oi 29th of }une 2u12, they founu theii
homes uemolisheu anu themselves homeless. Nost of these young men anu women
weie nevei chaigeu to couit. As foi the few who weie chaigeu to couit, the Biiectoi of
Public Piosecution (BPP) in August 2u12 issueu a legal auvice that theie was insufficient
eviuence to chaige any of the 2S peisons. Consequently, the couit on S Septembei 2u12
stiuck the mattei out, fuithei eviuencing that these young men anu women weie falsely
accuseu anu aiiesteu only to facilitate the uemolition. See (R3*/*+ ( foi a ceitifieu tiue
copy of the BPP's legal auvice anu juugment stiiking out the ciiminal matteis.

[$"&1(#1F X(/$+$)%/$"( %() >1%/56

2.Su. Both the iaiu of the community on 26 }une anu the uemolitions that commenceu on 27
}une weie chaiacteiizeu by excessive violence, with membeis of the }oint Task Foice
(0peiation Polo Shielu) anu heavily aimeu mobile policemen who useu hoisewhips,
teaigas anu the butts of theii guns to haiass, maim, beat, physically assault anu biutalize
fleeing iesiuents who attempteu to iescue some of theii belongings anu piizeu
possessions. Biieu cultists guiueu the bulluozeis that caiiieu out the uemolition.

2.S1. At least foui people uieu as a uiiect iesult of the uemolition exeicise, incluuing (1) a
seven-uays-olu baby giil who uieu fiom teaigas thiown into the community; (2) an olu
woman in hei seventies, who was foiceu to sleep in a uamageu taxi aftei the uemolition
anu uieu theie; (S) a young man who was beaten anu intimiuateu by secuiity foices by
the jetty anu was foiceu to jump into the watei, wheie he uiowneu; anu (4) anu Nauam
Blessing Biiggs, who uieu because of the shock of the uemolition.

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2.S2 The Riveis State uoveinment maue no piovision foi emeigency sheltei oi any othei
foim of ielief to the evictees of the Abonnema Whaif community, incluuing many
women anu chiluien, who have accoiuingly been pusheu fuithei into poveity. Nany
evictees of Abonnema Whaif weie foiceu immeuiately aftei the uemolition to take
iefuge in neaiby chuiches anu uncompleteu builuings. Nany chiluien have fallen sick
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since the uemolitions uue to excessive exposuie to colu, mosquito bites, anu giuesome
enviionmental health hazaius. Women, who often woikeu as petty tiaueis anu weie the
piimaiy bieauwinneis foi theii families, have paiticulaily felt the negative impact.

B".#1) $(/" 3##1T/$(8 X(%)1VE%/1 ,"+T1(6%/$"(

2.SS. In the afteimath of the uemolition of Abonnema Whaif community anu the eviction of its
iesiuents, some who weie offeieu compensation hau no choice but to accept the paltiy
sums so as to meet theii immeuiate neeus foi sheltei, foou, school fees, etceteia, aftei
losing eveiything. Taking compensation unuei such coeicion was not because they
wanteu to sell oi leave theii homes oi because the amounts offeieu weie acceptable oi
auequate compensation.

?" ,"+T1(6%/$"( ". 7161//&1+1(/ C". N1(%(/6 %() Q/51.6

2.S4. Nany otheis weie nevei offeieu oi nevei ieceiveu any compensation at all. Fiist, the
only compensation offeieu oi paiu was unuei the uoveinment's "buy-out" scheme,
which benefiteu only lanuloius oi stiuctuie owneis. Theie was no compensation foi
losses suffeieu by tenants oi any iesettlement offeieu. Seconu, this compensation was
baseu only on a unilateial valuation uone by a uoveinment-hiieu valuei; it was not
subject to negotiation oi consultation with affecteu peisons. Fuithei, it was not aimeu at
compensating any auuitional haim suffeieu uue to the suuuen uemolition anu foiceu
eviction. Community membeis aie compiling a iegistei of all those peisons who weie
affecteu by the uemolition anu have ieceiveu no compensation, incluuing a uetaileu list
of the losses anu quantifiable haims suffeieu by each, to be submitteu to the NBRC.

,23.&/"31 '2 A./':535') < ?'&#.* @;5#35')

2.SS. The violent uemolition anu foiceu eviction of the Abonnema Whaif community anu
ensuing funuamental anu human iights violations have been wiuely conuemneu by
human iights oiganizations. See (R3*/*+ ! foi a uetaileu iepoit by Amnesty
Inteinational on the uemolition of Abonnema Whaif, consiueiing it a foiceu eviction.

2.S6. The National Buman Rights Commission also announceu it was initiating an
investigation into the uemolition of Abonnema Whaif anu the attenuant human iights
violations. See (R3*/*+ G foi a news aiticle fiom N51 ?%/$"( in which the Chaiiman of the
National Buman Rights Commission expiesseu concein ovei human iights violations
uuiing the uemolition anu foiceu eviction of Abonnema Whaif iesiuents.

2.S7. Aftei the uemolition anu foiceu eviction, the Befenuants stationeu policemen anu othei
secuiity agencies in the community who haiasseu foimei iesiuents whenevei they come
within a ceitain uistance to pievent them fiom iegaining possession of theii lanus.

2.S8. Since Becembei 2u12, the entiie Abonnema Whaif community has been fenceu to
enable the Riveis State uoveinment to peifect theii plan of unlawfully taking possession
of the community's lanu by foice anu foi no known oveiiiuing public puipose.
:1/$/$"( 71A B".#1) *0$#/$"( "C 3-"((1+% D5%.C D%/1.C."(/ ,"++E($/9F GH IE(1JG IE&9 GKLM

8 of 17
B)%'5)% >535%"35') ")* 4')35)(5)% ?"5& C."&5)% D5':"35')9

2.S9. 0n 2 }uly 2u12, the final uay of the uemolition of Abonnema Whaif Wateifiont, the
above iefeienceu couit case came up befoie the Riveis State Bigh Couit. Counsel to the
Claimants uigently infoimeu the piesiuing juuge that subject mattei of litigation was
being uestioyeu. Counsel foi the Riveis State uoveinment uenieu the fact anu the
piesiuing juuge, whose couitioom sits less than a mile fiom Abonnema Whaif, uenieu
knowleuge anu iefuseu to take juuicial notice of the fact of ongoing uemolition oi
sanction the Befenuants who hau so biazenly taken the law into theii own hanus.

2.4u. Since the total uestiuction of Abonnema Whaif anu the foiceu eviction of its inhabitants,
the couit case has uiaggeu on fiom one miscaiiiage of justice to anothei. Counsel to the
Claimants biought a new application foi inteilocutoiy injunction - the fiist nevei having
been heaiu oi iuleu upon foi ovei two anu a half yeais. The new application piayeu foi
inteilocutoiy injunction to iestiain the Riveis State uoveinment fiom ueveloping,
subuiviuing, selling oi otheiwise making use of the cleaieu lanu at Abonnema Whaif. 0n
24 August 2u1S this application was uismisseu in a lengthy iuling that, $(/1. %&$%,
ieasoneu that the uemolition of Abonnema Whaif uuiing the penuency of the case
meant to iestiain the same was a completeu act; anu that money uamages woulu be
moie than sufficient to compensate any haim the Claimants might suffei. See (R3*/*+ 9
foi a copy of this iuling, against which Claimants have commenceu the appeals piocess.

2.41. The conuuct of the Riveis State uoveinment as Befenuants in anu outsiue the piesent
suit has been unconscionable - cleaily uesigneu to weai out the Claimants anu exhaust
theii iesouices. As mentioneu above, it took neaily two yeais foi the Befenuants to
iegistei an appeaiance anu exactly two yeais foi them to file any piocess in iesponse.
0n numeious occasions, they have seiveu out-of-time piocesses on the Counsel to the
Claimants at a heaiing on the mattei, necessitating an aujouinment. At no time has this
pattein of behavioi been chastiseu oi penalizeu by the piesiuing juuge, eviuencing lack
of inuepenuence oi impaitiality anu iesulting in unuue uelay to the Claimants - a fuithei
iights violation upon all the otheis alieauy suffeieu thiough the foiceu eviction.


D51/51. /51 )1+"&$/$"( "C 3-"((1+% D5%.C D%/1.C."(/ #"++E($/9 )"16 ("/ #"(6/$/E/1 %
C".#1) 10$#/$"( @$/5 %//1()%(/ 0$"&%/$"(6 "C /51 CE()%+1(/%& %() 5E+%( .$85/6 "C C".+1.
.16$)1(/6 "C /51 #"++E($/9F $(#&E)$(8 /51 .$85/ /" %)1VE%/1 5"E6$(8\651&/1.F T."T1./9F )E1
T."#166F &$-1./9F T.$0%#9 $( /51 5"+1F &$01&$5"")F %6 8E%.%(/11) E()1. /51 L]]] ,"(6/$/E/$"(
"C /51 B1)1.%& 71TE-&$# "C ?$81.$%F /51 3C.$#%( ,5%./1. "C ^E+%( %() :1"T&16W 7$85/6F /51
X(/1.(%/$"(%& ,"01(%(/ "( *#"("+$# !"#$%& %() ,E&/E.%& 7$85/6F %+"(8 "/51. .18$"(%& %()
$(/1.(%/$"(%& $(6/.E+1(/6 .%/$C$1) -9 /51 B1)1.%& 71TE-&$# "C ?$81.$%R

:1/$/$"( 71A B".#1) *0$#/$"( "C 3-"((1+% D5%.C D%/1.C."(/ ,"++E($/9F GH IE(1JG IE&9 GKLM

9 of 17

4.1 As uetaileu above, the 27 }une - 2 }uly 2u12 uemolitions weie caiiieu out with a total
absence of piotections, such as auequate notice, consultation, compensation anu
iesettlement. Fuithei, the uemolitions iesulteu in the ueaths of at least foui uisplaceu
iesiuents of the Abonnema Whaif Wateifiont community. Immeuiately piioi to the
uemolitions, ovei 1uu peisons weie unlawfully aiiesteu anu uetaineu, most without
eveiy being chaigeu. The uemolitions iesulteu in the uestiuction anu loss of valuable
piopeity of thousanus of iesiuents who weie also ienueieu homeless anu left to live in
on the stieets, without any uue piocess of law. Neanwhile, the uemolitions thieaten the
livelihoous of many membeis of the Abonnema Whaif Wateifiont community.

4.2 We iespectfully submit that, in light of the facts uetaileu above, the uemolition of
Abonnema Whaif constitutes a foiceu eviction in violation of numeious inteinational
anu iegional human iights instiuments to which Nigeiia is paity. Fuithei, the facts
amount to numeious othei violations of the Abonnema Whaif Wateifiont community
iesiuents' funuamental anu human iights guaianteeu unuei the 1999 Constitution of the
Feueial Republic of Nigeiia, the Afiican Chaitei of Buman anu Peoples' Rights, anu the
Inteinational Covenant on Economic, Social anu Cultuial Rights, among otheis.

4.S We now auuiess each funuamental anu human iights violation in tuin. Foi each of these
violations, membeis of the Abonnema Whaif Wateifiont community appioach the
National Buman Rights Commission foi ieuiess by way of ueclaiatoiy anu othei ieliefs.

!"#$%& ()*$+*", T I*">1+*", "- A*U3+ +" Q3%>+%# "# .&%V51+% 9"5W*,U

4.4 The Abonnema Whaif Wateifiont community submits that the 27 }une - 2 }uly 2u12
uemolitions of theii homes is a 2'&#.* .;5#35') in violation of theii &5%13 3' "*.E("3.
1'(95)% '& 91.:3.& that ueiives, $(/1. %&$%, fiom Aiticle 11.1 of the ICESCR, Aiticles 14,
16, 18 of the Afiican Chaitei (as uomesticateu), anu the 1999 Constitution.

4.S Aiticle 11.1 of the ICESCR states that all paities to the ICESCR must "iecognize the iight
of eveiyone to an auequate stanuaiu of living foi himself anu his family, incluuing
auequate foou, clothing anu housing, anu to the continuous impiovement of living
conuitions. The States Paities will take appiopiiate steps to ensuie the iealization of this
iight, iecognizing to this effect the essential impoitance of inteinational co-opeiation
baseu on fiee consent."

4.6 The 0N Committee on Economic, Social anu Cultuial Rights, the bouy of inuepenuent
expeits establisheu to inteipiet the ICESCR anu monitoi state paities compliance, has
fuithei elaboiateu the noimative contents of the iight to auequate housing. The
Committee pioviues authoiitative inteipietation of the content of the iight to auequate
housing anu the obligations of states in ueneial Comment 4 (on the iight to auequate
housing) anu ueneial Comment 7 (on foiceu evictions).

:1/$/$"( 71A B".#1) *0$#/$"( "C 3-"((1+% D5%.C D%/1.C."(/ ,"++E($/9F GH IE(1JG IE&9 GKLM

1u of 17
4.7. In its ueneial Comment 7, the Committee uefines a foiceu eviction as "/51 T1.+%(1(/ ".
/1+T".%.9 .1+"0%& %8%$(6/ /51$. @$&& "C $()$0$)E%&6F C%+$&$16 %()\". #"++E($/$16 C."+ /51
5"+16 %()\". &%() @5$#5 /519 "##ET9F @$/5"E/ /51 T."0$6$"( "CF %() %##166 /"F %TT."T.$%/1
C".+6 "C &18%& ". "/51. T."/1#/$"(."

4.8 As summaiizeu in a iecent joint iepoit by SERAC anu Amnesty Inteinational,
,"++$//11 5%6 1+T5%6$_1) /5%/ 10$#/$"(6 +%9 "(&9 -1 #%..$1) "E/ %6 % &%6/ .16"./ %() "(&9
%C/1. %&& C1%6$-&1 %&/1.(%/$016 /" 10$#/$"( 5%01 -11( 1ST&".1) $( 81(E$(1 #"(6E&/%/$"( @$/5
/51 %CC1#/1) T1"T&1R X/ 5%6 #&%.$C$1) /5%/ 10$#/$"(6 #%( "(&9 -1 #%..$1) "E/ @51( %TT."T.$%/1
T."#1)E.%& T."/1#/$"(6 %.1 $( T&%#1R N5161 $(#&E)1:

%( "TT"./E($/9 C". 81(E$(1 #"(6E&/%/$"( @$/5 /5"61 %CC1#/1)`
%)1VE%/1 %() .1%6"(%-&1 ("/$#1 C". %CC1#/1) T1"T&1 T.$". /" /51 10$#/$"(
$(C".+%/$"( "( /51 T."T"61) 10$#/$"(6 %()F @51.1 %TT&$#%-&1F "( /51 %&/1.(%/$01
TE.T"61 C". @5$#5 /51 &%() ". 5"E6$(8 $6 /" -1 E61)F /" -1 +%)1 %0%$&%-&1 $(
.1%6"(%-&1 /$+1 /" %&& /5"61 %CC1#/1)`

8"01.(+1(/ "CC$#$%&6 ". /51$. .1T.161(/%/$016 /" -1 T.161(/ )E.$(8 %( 10$#/$"(`
101.9"(1 $(0"&01) $( #%..9$(8 "E/ /51 10$#/$"( -1 T."T1.&9 $)1(/$C$1)`
10$#/$"(6 ("/ /" /%41 T&%#1 $( T%./$#E&%.&9 -%) @1%/51. ". %/ ($85/ E(&166 /51
%CC1#/1) T1"T&1 #"(61(/ "/51.@$61`

T."0$6$"( "C &18%& .1+1)$16`
T."0$6$"(F @51.1 T"66$-&1F "C &18%& %$) /" T1"T&1 @5" %.1 $( (11) "C $/ /" 6114
.1).166 C."+ /51 #"E./6`

T."0$6$"( "C %)1VE%/1 %&/1.(%/$01 5"E6$(8 /" /5"61 @5" #%(("/ T."0$)1 C".
/51+61&016` %()

#"+T1(6%/$"( C". %&& &"6616R

4.9 The facts of the 27 }une - 2 }uly 2u12 uemolitions at Abonnema Whaif Wateifiont,
uesciibeu above, uemonstiate the Riveis State uoveinment's failuie to put in place the
above pioceuuial piotections. Notably, uespite the many yeais uuiing which the Riveis
State uoveinment thieateneu uemolition of the community anu planneu foi the foiceu
buy-out, the actual uemolition came as a total suipiise, without any consultation with oi
notice to affecteu peisons who suuuenly founu themselves homeless. What
compensation was paiu was only offeieu to lanuloius anu only baseu on a unilateial
valuation of theii piopeities, with no piovision foi othei haims suffeieu uue to the

This fiamewoik is taken fiom "If You Love Youi Life, Nove 0ut!: Foiceu Eviction in Bauia East, Lagos State,
Nigeiia," Amnesty Inteinational anu Social anu Economic Rights Action Centei (0K: August, 2u1S).
:1/$/$"( 71A B".#1) *0$#/$"( "C 3-"((1+% D5%.C D%/1.C."(/ ,"++E($/9F GH IE(1JG IE&9 GKLM

11 of 17
suuuen natuie of the uemolition. Theie was no compensation oi alteinative sheltei -
emeigency oi otheiwise - maue available to tenants who weie ienueieu homeless.

4.1u Such an eviction, without such safeguaius as genuine consultation, notice, compensation
foi all losses anu piovision of alteinatives, cleaily constitutes a foiceu eviction. This is
fuithei unueiscoieu by the Riveis State uoveinment's willingness to pioceeu with a
uemolition in uttei uisiegaiu foi penuing litigation by which iesiuents of Abonnema
Whaif hau attempteu to piotect themselves thiough access to legal iemeuies. We
iespectfully uige the National Buman Rights Commission to so holu.

4.11 Beyonu constituting a foiceu eviction in violation of Aiticle 11.1 of the ICESCR, the
ciicumstances uesciibeu above also violate the iight to shelteihousing implicit in the
Afiican Chaitei on Buman anu Peoples' Rights anu the 1999 Constitution. In F@=,4 ;G
H5%.&5", 4"005,*$1+*", @XXTYZ, the Afiican Commission founu that the combineu
effect of Aiticles 14 (iight to piopeity), 16 (iight to family life), anu 18 (iight to health)
of the Afiican Chaitei on Buman anu Peoples' Rights, ieau togethei, "foibius the wanton
uestiuction of sheltei because when housing is uestioyeu, piopeity, health, anu family
life aie auveisely affecteu." Baseu on this ieasoning, the Commission founu uestiuction
of homes to constitute a violation of an implicit iight to sheltei oi housing.

4.12 Theie is also ample suppoit in the 1999 Constitution to finu a iight to sheltei oi housing.
The 1999 Constitution contains the same funuamental iights fiom which the iight to
sheltei oi housing ueiives in the Afiican Chaitei, to wit the iights to piopeity containeu
in Sections 4S anu 44 the iight to piivacy in Section S7. These iights can be ieau in light
of Chaptei II, Section 14(2)(u) of the Constitution, which states that the uoveinment
shall uiiect its policies towaiu the piovision of suitable anu auequate sheltei.

4.1S We iespectfully uige the National Buman Rights Commission to auopt the same line of
ieasoning as the leaineu Afiican Commission, finuing the iight to housing anu sheltei
implicit in these piovisions of the Nigeiian Constitution anu finuing that the same iight
has been violateu by the Riveis' State uoveinment's 27 }une - 2 }uly 2u12 uemolitions
caiiieu out in the Abonnema Whaif Wateifiont community.

D5':"35')9 '2 =5%13 3' ,#E(5&. ")* BI) 7&'8.&36

4.14 In the couise of the Riveis State uoveinment's total uemolition anu foiceu "buy-out" of
Abonnema Whaif Wateifiont community, thousanus of peisons' iights to acquiie anu
own piopeity weie affecteu thiough the foicible taking anuoi uestiuction of theii
homes, business places anu community stiuctuies. Bue to the lack of notice, most
iesiuents also lost valuable belongings that weie insiue the stiuctuies.

4.1S We submit that the foiceu acquisition anu uemolition of homes, business piemises, anu
community facilities, causing laige-scale loss of piopeity without uue piocess, auequate
compensation oi a uemonstiateu public neeu, is a violation of the constitutional iight to
acquiie anu own both movable anu immovable piopeity guaianteeu unuei Sections 4S
:1/$/$"( 71A B".#1) *0$#/$"( "C 3-"((1+% D5%.C D%/1.C."(/ ,"++E($/9F GH IE(1JG IE&9 GKLM

12 of 17
& 44(1) (a & b) of the 1999 Constitution anu the human iights guaianteeu by Aiticles 14
& 21 of the Afiican Chaitei anu othei instiuments to which Nigeiia is paity.

4.16 The Nigeiian Constitution guaiantees all inuiviuuals without uisciimination oi
qualification, the iight to acquiie anu own piopeity anu to fieely use anu enjoy such
piopeity without inteifeience. Specifically, Sections 4S anu 44 of the Constitution of
Nigeiia pioviue that:

aMR !E-;1#/ /" /51 T."0$6$"(6 "C /5$6 ,"(6/$/E/$"(F 101.9 #$/$_1( "C ?$81.$%
65%&& 5%01 /51 .$85/ /" %#VE$.1 %() "@( $++"0%-&1 T."T1./9 %(9@51.1 $(

aaR <L= ?" +"01%-&1 T."T1./9 ". %(9 $(/1.16/ $( %( $++"0%-&1 T."T1./9
65%&& -1 /%41( T"66166$"( "C #"+TE&6".$&9 %() (" .$85/ "01. ". $(/1.16/ $( %(9
6E#5 T."T1./9 65%&& -1 %#VE$.1) #"+TE&6".$&9 $( %(9 T%./ "C ?$81.$% 1S#1T/ $(
/51 +%((1. %() C". /51 TE.T"61 T.16#.$-1) -9 % &%@ /5%/F %+"(8 "/51.

<%= 71VE$.16 /51 T."+T/ T%9+1(/ "C #"+T1(6%/$"( /51.1"C %()

<-= O$016 /" %(9 T1.6"( #&%$+$(8 6E#5 #"+T1(6%/$"( % .$85/ "C %##166
C". /51 )1/1.+$(%/$"( "C 5$6 $(/1.16/ $( /51 T."T1./9 %() /51 %+"E(/
"C #"+T1(6%/$"( /" % #"E./ "C &%@ ". /.$-E(%& ". -")9 5%0$(8
;E.$6)$#/$"( $( /5%/ T%./ "C ?$81.$%R

4.17 We submit that the combineu foice of Sections 4S anu 44 of the Nigeiian Constitution
ensuie the sanctity of all piopeity, both movable anu immovable, by piohibiting the
taking of such piopeity without covei of law, compensation, anu access to the couits. By
implication, Section 44 ieaffiims the iight to own, possess, use anu enjoy both movable
anu immovable piopeity, since without such iights theie woulu be no neeu foi a
piohibition on the taking of piopeity. These piotections aie also consistent with the
common law conception of piopeity, which has long iecognizeu that the iight to
piopeity incluues the iight to use anu enjoyment, to the exclusion of all otheis.

4.18 The piotections offeieu by Section 44 of the Constitution aie bioau, coveiing all types of
piopeity anu any foim of inteiest. As such, these piotections extenu not only to lanu,
but also to immovable piopeity, such as builuings anu fixeu stiuctuies, anu to moveable
piopeity, incluuing householu items. Consequently, foiceu evictions anu uemolitions
T.$+% C%#$1 violates the constitutional iight to piopeity, iegaiuless of whethei the
inuiviuual whose home is uemolisheu hau title to the lanu, because, at a minimum, they
iesult in the uestiuction of housing mateiials anu householu goous.

4.19 These constitutional iequiiements aie buttiesseu anu infoimeu by Aiticles 14 anu 16 of
the Afiican Chaitei, which is binuing law in Nigeiia unuei Section 12 of the Constitution.
Aiticle 14 of the Afiican Chaitei guaiantees the iight to piopeity anu pioviues that it
"may only be encioacheu upon in the inteiest of public neeu oi in the geneial inteiest of
:1/$/$"( 71A B".#1) *0$#/$"( "C 3-"((1+% D5%.C D%/1.C."(/ ,"++E($/9F GH IE(1JG IE&9 GKLM

1S of 17
the community anu in accoiuance with the piovisions of appiopiiate laws." Aiticle 21(2)
also pioviues ielief if Aiticle 14 is violateu: "In case of spoliation the uispossesseu
people shall have the iight to the lawful iecoveiy of its piopeity as well as to an
auequate compensation." As was iecently confiimeu by the Afiican Commission on
Buman anu Peoples' Rights (Afiican Commission) in the 4.)3&. 2'& J5)'&536 =5%139
A.;.:'8/.)3 KL.)6"M ")* J5)'&536 =5%139 N&'(8 O)3.&)"35')": ') -.1":2 '2
@)*'&'59 0.:2"&. 4'()#5: D9G L.)6", Communication No. 276 2uuS:

bNc51 /16/ &%$) "E/ $( 3./$#&1 La "C /51 ,5%./1. $6 #"(;E(#/$01F /5%/ $6F $( ".)1.
C". %( 1(#."%#5+1(/ ("/ /" -1 $( 0$"&%/$"( "C 3./$#&1 LaF $/ +E6/ -1 T."01(
/5%/ /51 1(#."%#5+1(/ @%6 $( /51 $(/1.16/ "C /51 TE-&$# (11)\81(1.%&
$(/1.16/ "C /51 #"++E($/9 %() @%6 #%..$1) "E/ $( %##".)%(#1 @$/5
%TT."T.$%/1 &%@R

4.2u Thus, the Afiican Chaitei ieiteiates the iight to compensation alieauy guaianteeu by the
Nigeiian Constitution, auuing the iequiiement that such compensation be not only
T."+T/, but also %)1VE%/1. The Afiican Chaitei also ieiteiates that the taking of piopeity
must be $( %##".)%(#1 @$/5 /51 T."0$6$"(6 "C %TT."T.$%/1 &%@6, which ieinfoices the
guaiantee in the Nigeiian Constitution that a peison affecteu by the taking of piopeity
must have access to a couit of law foi the ueteimination of compensation. We submit
that auequate compensation must not only compensate the affecteu peisons foi the
value of the piopeity taken oi uestioyeu, but also the othei haims they may suffei as a
consequence of having theii piopeity takenuestioyeu by uoveinment.

4.21 Finally, the Afiican Chaitei supplements the "oveiiiuing public puipose" iequiiement in
the Lanu 0se Act, stating that the iight to piopeity - any foim of piopeity - may only be
encioacheu "in the inteiest of TE-&$# (11) oi in the geneial inteiest of the community."
We submit that, foi this couit to ueteimine that a taking of piopeity is justifieu by such %
TE-&$# (11) ". /51 81(1.%& $(/1.16/ "C /51 #"++E($/9, the uoveinment must uemonstiate
that measuieu in the balance of equity, the uigency of the public neeu oi anu the
impoitance of the geneial inteiest outweighs the haim suffeieu by the peisons who aie
uepiiveu of theii piopeity anu thus aie most immeuiately affecteu. This calculation must
take into consiueiation the othei iights guaianteeu by the Constitution anu the Afiican
Chaitei that aie also at stake. Noieovei, the uoveinment's pioposeu action shoulu be
evaluateu in light of both equity anu the uiiective piinciples enshiineu in the Chaptei II
of the Nigeiian Constitution, incluuing piovision of suitable anu auequate sheltei unuei
Section 16(2), the piovision of public assistance to those in neeu unuei Section 17(S)(g),
the piomotion of family life unuei Section 17(S)(h), anu as a piimaiy puipose of
uoveinment unuei Section 14(2)(b), the people's secuiity anu welfaie.

4.22 Such inteipietation of Aiticle 14 is in line with the ieasoning of the Afiican Commission,
which in the @)*'&'59 0.:2"&. 4.)3.& D9G L.)6" (Supia) at paiagiaph 214, helu that
"any limitations on iights must be piopoitionate to a legitimate neeu, anu shoulu be the
least iestiictive measuies possible." Applying the "public inteiest test" unuei Aiticle 14
to finu that Kenya's uisplacement of the Enuoiois community was uispiopoitionate to
the public inteiest asseiteu, the Commission linkeu this test to the effect the
:1/$/$"( 71A B".#1) *0$#/$"( "C 3-"((1+% D5%.C D%/1.C."(/ ,"++E($/9F GH IE(1JG IE&9 GKLM

14 of 17
uisplacement hau on the claimants' iight to life anu livelihoou anu the piinciples of
human uignity. It noteu, moieovei, that if the uoveinment hau uemonstiateu

% &18$/$+%/1 %$+ b/5%/c 61.01) % TE-&$# (11)F $/ #"E&) 5%01 -11(
%##"+T&$651) -9 %&/1.(%/$01 +1%(6 T."T"./$"(%/1 /" /51 (11)R B."+ /51
10$)1(#1 6E-+$//1) -"/5 ".%&&9 %() $( @.$/$(8F $/ $6 #&1%. /5%/ /51 #"++E($/9
@%6 @$&&$(8 /" @".4 @$/5 /51 O"01.(+1(/ $( % @%9 /5%/ .16T1#/1) /51$.
T."T1./9 .$85/6UR

4.2S The summaiy uemolition of homes, business piemises, community stiuctuies, causing
loss of immovable piopeity anu movable piopeity containeu theiein, without uue
piocess of law, is a cleai violation of the iight to piopeity unuei the Nigeiian
Constitution anu the Afiican Chaitei. In oiuei to take piopeity, whethei thiough
compulsoiy acquisition, uestiuction oi otheiwise, anu not iun afoul of the Constitution
anu its inteinational human iights obligations, the Riveis State uoveinment must
pioceeu only in accoiuance with appiopiiate law anu with available iecouise to the
couits of law, with payment of piompt anu auequate compensation, anu foi
uemonstiateu public neeu anu in the geneial inteiest of the community.

4.24 Without taking such steps in the couise of foiceful acquisition - anu by fuithei caiiying
out a suipiise uemolition without enabling affecteu peisons to iemove oi piotect the
movable piopeities - the Riveis State uoveinment violateu the piopeity iights of
thousanus of membeis of the Abonnema Whaif Wateifiont community. We iespectfully
uige the National Buman Rights Commission to so holu.

D5':"35')9 '2 =5%13 3' ?"5& C."&5)% P A(. 7&'#.99

4.2S We submit that the pioceuuies employeu by the Riveis State uoveinment in the 27 }une
- 2 }uly 2u12 uemolition of the Abonnema Whaif Wateifiont uo not meet even the
minimum iequiiements of *(. 8&'#.99 unuei Section S6 of the Constitution, as aie
necessaiy in a uemociatic state to limit the powei of goveinment vis--vis its people, oi
othei faii heaiing guaiantees enshiineu in the vaiious inteinational anu iegional
instiuments to which Nigeiia is paity. Auuitionally, we submit that those Abonnema
Whaif iesiuents who went to couit in oiuei to iestiain the uemolition anu foiceu buy-
out by Riveis State uoveinment have faceu numeious faii heaiing violations - fiist
thiough the abusive litigation tactics employeu by the Riveis State uoveinment as
Befenuant anu, seconu, thiough the unuue uelay occasioneu by the pioceeuings anu lack
of inuepenuence impaitiality amply uemonstiateu by the piesiuing juuge.

>E1 :."#166 3//1()%(/ /" /51 3#VE$6$/$"( "C Z%() \ B".#1) *0$#/$"(6

4.26 As uetaileu in the statement of facts, theie was no notice of a planneu oi scheuuleu
uemolition to affecteu peisons in the Abonnema Whaif community. Insteau, on the two
nights piioi to the uemolition, the uoveinment stageu a seiies of gunfiie inciuents in the
community anu subsequently useu the excuse of "fighting ciime" to justify theii
unannounceu entiy into anu complete uestiuction of Abonnema Whaif. Woise, as
:1/$/$"( 71A B".#1) *0$#/$"( "C 3-"((1+% D5%.C D%/1.C."(/ ,"++E($/9F GH IE(1JG IE&9 GKLM

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uetaileu above, the timing of the uemolition contiauicteu the commitments maue by the
Riveis State uoveinment in a seiies of public announcements via iauio anu in meetings
to lanuloius anu iesiuents iegaiuing the "buy-out" piocess.

4.27 Section S6 of the Constitution establishes the stanuaius of uue piocess iequiieu in
ciiminal anu civil pioceeuings befoie couits of law oi uuly constituteu tiibunals, anu
also in auministiative pioceeuings by the executive bianch. We submit that the
uemolition caiiieu out by the Riveis State uoveinment is best chaiacteiizeu as VE%6$J
#.$+$(%&, in that it was explicitly tieu to accusations of ciiminal activity in the Abonnema
Whaif Wateifiont community. Bue piocess in a ciiminal pioceeuing incluues numeious
guaiantees unuei Section S6(4)-(11), incluuing the iight to auequate anu uetaileu notice
of the natuie of the offence anu auequate time to piepaie one's uefense, a faii anu public
tiial, iepiesentation by counsel of one's choosing, anu the piesumption of innocence.

4.28 Whatevei public statements weie maue by the Riveis State uoveinment to justify the
ongoing uemolition fail to meet the stanuaius of "auequate anu uetaileu notice" insofai
as it fails to cite any law accoiuing to which a iesiuent coulu ueteimine which
inuiviuuals oi houses might be implicateu. As to the iest of the uue piocess
iequiiements foi a ciiminal oi quasi-ciiminal mattei, the summaiy uemolition exeicise
piesumeu no one innocent anu left no oppoitunity to piepaie oi piesent a uefense.

4.29 In the alteinative, we iespectfully submit that the piesent mattei shoulu be
chaiacteiizeu as civil in natuie, insofai as it is cleaily involves a ueteimination of the
Abonnema Whaif Wateifiont community's civil iights by a goveinment authoiity.
Inueeu, a civil pioceeuing is the noimal path to eviction. In point of fact, theie aie
pioceuuies piesciibeu at law - unuei the Lanu 0se Act foi compulsoiy acquisition oi
unuei the Recoveiy of Piemises Act foi occupieis of piemises - that ensuie the
oppoitunity to be heaiu anu to have access to a couit of law. Such pioceuuies involving
a civil pioceeuing aie moie in line with the iequiiements of Section S6(1) of the
Constitution, which woulu entitle affecteu iesiuents to a faii heaiing within a ieasonable
time by an impaitial anu inuepenuent couit of law oi othei tiibunal establisheu by law.
In shoit, evictions - even by goveinment - shoulu iequiie a valiu couit oiuei to pioceeu.

4.Su Even if the piesent action is chaiacteiizeu meiely as an auministiative action, i.e. an
executive ueteimination of Abonnema Whaif Wateifiont community's civil iights, which
woulu ignoie the enoimity of the penalty being imposeu by the uemolitionsfoiceu
evictions, the Constitution at Section S6(2) iequiies at a minimum that those affecteu
have (1) an oppoitunity to be heaiu anu (2) the iight to appeal the agency
ueteimination befoie it becomes final anu may be acteu upon. The pioceuuies laiu out in
the Riveis State 0iban anu Regional Planning anu Bevelopment Law, uiscusseu above,
cleaily attempt to comply with these minimum uue piocess iequiiements befoie
allowing an executive agency to oiuei uemolitions of piopeity in the state. Why shoulu
uemolitions of Abonnema Whaif be caiiieu out by such giossly uiffeient stanuaius.

4.S1 Foi all the foiegoing ieasons, we submit that the methous by which the Riveis State
uoveinment invaueu the Abonnema Whaif Wateifiont anu uemolisheu iesiuents'
:1/$/$"( 71A B".#1) *0$#/$"( "C 3-"((1+% D5%.C D%/1.C."(/ ,"++E($/9F GH IE(1JG IE&9 GKLM

16 of 17
homes, business piemises, anu community facilities uo not satisfy minimum uue piocess
anu aie theiefoie unconstitutional anu unlawful. We iespectfully uige the National
Buman Rights Commission to so holu.

B%$. ^1%.$(8 [$"&%/$"(6 $( Q(8"$(8 Z$/$8%/$"(

4.S2 We iespectfully submit that the combineu effect of the abusive conuuct of the Riveis
State uoveinment as Befenuant to the couit case fileu by numeious membeis of
Abonnema Whaif Wateifiont community anu the steaufast iefusal by the Riveis State
}uuiciaiy to aumonish the same constitutes a sepaiate violation of faii heaiing. When it
stanus in the iole of Befenuant, the Riveis State uoveinment is unuei obligation to
obseive to iules of couit anu of faii play so as not to abuse its position to ueny faii
heaiing anu legal iemeuy to litigants. Iiiespective of the uoveinment's conuuct, the
Riveis State }uuiciaiy is the gatekeepei of faii heaiing anu must be vigilant.

4.SS As iefeienceu above, Section S6(1) of the 1999 Constitution entitles affecteu iesiuents
to a faii heaiing within a ieasonable time by an impaitial anu inuepenuent couit of law
oi othei tiibunal establisheu by law. This stanuaiu is substantially the same as the iight
to faii heaiing guaianteeu unuei the Inteinational Covenant on Civil anu Political Rights.
We submit that the facts pleu above amply uemonstiate that the couit lacks the
iequisite inuepenuence anu impaitiality to sanction abusive behaviois that cause unuue
uelay anu unwaiianteu expense to the litigation - anu that even go to the heait of the
penuing mattei, such as uestioying the subject mattei of litigation. Auuitionally, it
cannot be saiu that the mattei has pioceeu within a ieasonable time. We iespectfully
uige the National Buman Rights Commission to so holu.

D5':"35')9 '2 =5%13 3' >5-.&36

4.S4 0n 26 }une 2u12, the uay befoie the uemolition, about 12u young men in the Abonnema
Whaif community weie iounueu up, aiiesteu anu uetaineu foi seveial uays while the
uemolition went on, uepiiving them of the oppoitunity to iescue theii possessions anu
leaving theii wives, motheis, sisteis anu chiluien without uefence oi assistance.

4.SS When these young men weie ieleaseu on 28th oi 29th of }une 2u12, they founu theii
homes uemolisheu anu themselves homeless. Nost of these young men weie nevei
chaigeu to couit. As foi the few who weie chaigeu to couit, the couit on S Septembei
2u12 stiuck the mattei out foi want of uiligent piosecution, fuithei eviuencing that they
weie falsely accuseu anu aiiesteu only to facilitate the uemolition.

4.S6 We submit that these unlawful aiiests anu uetentions constitute violations of the iight
to libeity enshiineu in Section SS(1) of the Constitution, which ieaus:

*01.9 T1.6"( 65%&& -1 1(/$/&1) /" 5$6 T1.6"(%& &$-1./9 %() (" T1.6"( 65%&& -1
)1T.$01) "C 6E#5 &$-1./9 6%01 $( /51 C"&&"@$(8 #%616 %() $( %##".)%(#1 @$/5 %
T."#1)E.1 T1.+$//1) %/ &%@U
:1/$/$"( 71A B".#1) *0$#/$"( "C 3-"((1+% D5%.C D%/1.C."(/ ,"++E($/9F GH IE(1JG IE&9 GKLM

17 of 17

As well as Aiticle 6 of the Afiican Chaitei, which states:

*01.9 $()$0$)E%& 65%&& 5%01 /51 .$85/ /" &$-1./9 %() /" /51 61#E.$/9 "C 5$6 T1.6"(R ?"
"(1 +%9 -1 )1T.$01) "C 5$6 C.11)"+ 1S#1T/ C". .1%6"(6 %() #"()$/$"(6 T.10$"E6&9
&%$) )"@( -9 &%@R X( T%./$#E&%.F (" "(1 +%9 -1 %.-$/.%.$&9 %..16/1) ". )1/%$(1)R

As well as Aiticle 9(1) of the ICCPR, which states:

*01.9"(1 5%6 /51 .$85/ /" &$-1./9 %() 61#E.$/9 "C T1.6"(R ?" "(1 65%&& -1 6E-;1#/1) /"
%.-$/.%.9 %..16/ ". )1/1(/$"(R ?" "(1 65%&& -1 )1T.$01) "C 5$6 &$-1./9 1S#1T/ "( 6E#5
8."E()6 %() $( %##".)%(#1 @$/5 6E#5 T."#1)E.1 %6 %.1 16/%-&$651) -9 &%@R

4.S7 Theie is no eviuence that the aiiests anu uetentions caiiieu out in the immeuiate
afteimath of the Abonnema Whaif Wateifiont uemolitions weie in accoiuance with any
pioceuuie peimitteu at law as elaboiateu in Section SS(1)(a)-(c) of the Constitution, oi
any othei law in foice in Nigeiia. Noieovei, at the time of the aiiest, none of the above-
nameu inuiviuuals weie piomptly infoimeu of the ieason foi theii aiiest oi the chaiges
against them, noi weie theie piomptly biought befoie a juuge, which constitutes a cleai
violation of Aiticle 9(2)-(S) of the ICCPR.

4.S8 Accoiuingly, we iespectfully uige the National Buman Rights Commission to holu that
these instances amount to aibitiaiy aiiest anu uetention anu violate the funuamental
iight to libeity guaianteeu in Section SS(1) of the Constitution, Aiticle 6 of the Afiican
Chaitei, anu Aiticle 9(1) of the ICCPR.

D5':"35')9 '2 =5%139 3' ?"/5:6 ")* 7&5;"3. >52.Q >5;.:51''*Q ")* @*(#"35')

4.S9 In auuition to the above claims baseu on funuamental iights violations, we submit that
the 27 }une - 2 }uly 2u12 uemolitions of the Abonnema Whaif Wateifiont community
violate the following funuamental anu human iights, among otheis:

(1) the iight to piivate anu family life guaianteeu unuei Section S7 of the
(2) the iight to livelihoou that is implicit in the iight to life guaianteeu by Section
SS of the Constitution, Aiticle 1S of the Afiican Chaitei (as uomesticateu), anu
Aiticle 6 of the ICESCR; anu
(S) the iight to euucation guaianteeu by the |Riveis State Chilu Rights Law..j,
Aiticle 17 of the Afiican Chaitei (as uomesticateu), anu Aiticle 1S of the

4.4u Section S7 of the Constitution ueclaies: "The piivacy of citizens, theii homes. is heieby
guaianteeu anu piotecteu." We submit that the summaiy uemolitions without auequate
notice oi uue piocess of law, which uisplaceu thousanus of iesiuents anu left them
homeless, living in the open, with families scatteieu anu sepaiateu in seaich of any
available sheltei, is cleaily a violation of the &5%13 3' 8&5;"3. ")* 2"/5:6 :52.. In ,:56(
:1/$/$"( 71A B".#1) *0$#/$"( "C 3-"((1+% D5%.C D%/1.C."(/ ,"++E($/9F GH IE(1JG IE&9 GKLM

18 of 17
O-&"15/ ; R1. 4'//5995').& '2 7':5#., the Couit founu that foicefully uiagging the
applicant out of his home amounteu to a violation of Section S7. Suiely the events heie
aie at least as extieme - we uige the National Buman Rights Commission to so holu.

4.41 We submit that the uemolition exeicise of the business piemises anu community
facilities in the Abonnema Whaif Wateifiont has uestioyeu the livelihoous of thousanus
anu theieby thieatens theii non-ueiogable iight to life as guaianteeu by Section S4 of
the Constitution of the Feueial Republic of Nigeiia 1999, Aiticle 4 of the Afiican Chaitei,
anu Aiticle 6 of the Inteinational Convention on Economic, Social anu Cultuial iights
(ICESCR). The &5%13 3' :5;.:51''* is a vital component of the iight to life because,
without a livelihoou, living itself becomes impossible. The Inuian Supieme Couit in B:%"
R.::59 ;G !'/-"6 J()5#58": 4'&8'&"35') [:??;\ 49A :S@7 1+ ]1U% ::7 a case uealing
with the uemolition of slum stiuctuies neai the city of Bombay, Inuia, helu as follows:

XC /51 .$85/ /" &$01&$5"") $6 ("/ /.1%/1) %6 % T%./ "C /51U .$85/ /" &$C1F /51
1%6$16/ @%9 "C )1T.$0$(8 % T1.6"( "C 5$6 .$85/ /" &$C1 @"E&) -1 /" )1T.$01 5$+
"C 5$6 +1%(6 "C &$01&$5"") /" /51 T"$(/ "C %-."8%/$"(R !E#5 )1T.$0%/$"( @"E&)
("/ "(&9 )1(E)1 /51 &$C1 "C $/6 1CC1#/$01 #"(/1(/ %() +1%($(8CE&(166 -E/ $/
@"E&) +%41 &$C1 $+T"66$-&1 /" &$01UR >1T.$01 % T1.6"( "C 5$6 .$85/ /"
&$01&$5"") %() 9"E 65%&& 5%01 )1T.$01) 5$+ "C 5$6 &$C1R

4.42 As in the B:%" R.::59 case, the 27 }une - 2 }uly 2u12 uemolition exeicise caiiieu out in
the Abonnema Whaif Wateifiont uestioyeu the business piemises anu community
facilities of many iesiuents anu also uisplaceu thousanus who woikeu in the community
oi ielieu on access to watei as a piinciple souice of livelihoou fiom the wateifiont
community. As such, these uemolitions constituteu an affiimative act by goveinment
that uisiupteu the livelihoous of thousanus, theieby constituting a violation of theii
iights to livelihooulife. We uige National Buman Rights Commission to so holu.

4.4S Finally, we submit that the uemolitions caiiieu out in Abonnema Whaif Wateifiont have
also infiingeu on the iights of the chilu, incluuing the funuamental &5%13 3' .*(#"35').
The iights of the chilu enjoy a position of utmost impoitance in Nigeiian law. Aiticle
17(1) of the Afiican Chaitei, which has been uomesticateu into Nigeiian law, pioviues
that "|ejveiy inuiviuual has a iight to euucation." Noieovei, the Chilu Rights Act No. 26
of 2uuS, which gives uomestic affect to Nigeiia's iatification of the Convention on the
Rights of the Chilu, incluues numeious piovisions on the iights of the chilu, incluuing the
chilu's iight to piotection anu caie as necessaiy foi the well-being of the chilu unuei
Section 2, iight to suivival anu uevelopment unuei Section 4, anu the iight to the "best
attainable state of physical, mental anu spiiitual health" unuei Section 1S, anu the iight
to euucation unuei Section 1S. These iights aie unueigiiueu by the uiiective piinciple
containeu in Aiticle 18 of the Constitution. Lastly, Aiticle 1S of the ICESCR piotects "the
iight of eveiyone to euucation."

4.44 Relying on such authoiities, the Community Couit of }ustice of the Economic Community
of West Afiican States in the case of F@=,7 D9G ?.*.&": =.8(-:5# '2 H5%.&5" ")*
S)5;.&9": !"95# @*(#"35') 4'//5995')7 ECWCC}APPu8u8, iecognizeu this iight to
:1/$/$"( 71A B".#1) *0$#/$"( "C 3-"((1+% D5%.C D%/1.C."(/ ,"++E($/9F GH IE(1JG IE&9 GKLM

19 of 17
euucation as enfoiceable in Nigeiia. By viitue of the EC0WAS Tieaty, this uecision is
binuing law in Nigeiia.

4.4S By uisiupting livelihoous anu uisplacing thousanus fiom theii homes, we submit that
the 27 }une - 2 }uly 2u12 uemolitions have also jeopaiuizeu the ability of many chiluien
to attenu school. We submit, theiefoie, that these uemolitions have violateu the iight to
euucation of chiluien evicteu fiom the Abonnema Whaif Wateifiont community anu
iespectfully uige the National Buman Rights Commission to so holu.

XP? 8A.M(AQ !EA A(ND(!

S.1 A BECLARATI0N that the 27 }une - 2 }uly 2u12 uemolition of Abonnema Whaif
Wateifiont community constitutes a 2'&#.* .;5#35') anu, theieby, violates the iight to
auequate housing guaianteeu unuei the Inteinational Covenant on Economic, Social anu
Cultuial Rights anu the iight to housingsheltei implicit in the Afiican Chaitei of Buman
anu Peoples' Rights anu the 1999 Constitution of the Feueial Republic of Nigeiia.

S.2 A BECLARATI0N that the foiceu "buy-out" anu the 27 }une - 2 }uly 2u12 uemolition of
Abonnema Whaif constitutes a violation of the iights to piopeity the Afiican Chaitei of
Buman anu Peoples' Rights anu the 1999 Constitution of the Feueial Republic of Nigeiia.

S.S A BECLARATI0N that the 27 }une - 2 }uly 2u12 uemolition of Abonnema Whaif anu the
conuuct of the Riveis State uoveinment anu Riveis State }uuiciaiy uuiing the penuency
of the litigation meant to iestiain this veiy uemolition constitute violations of the iight
to faii heaiing guaianteeu unuei the 1999 Constitution of the Feueial Republic of
Nigeiia anu the Inteinational Covenant on Civil anu Political Rights.

S.4 A BECLARATI0N that the iounu-up, aiiest anu uetention of the 12u young men fiom
Abonnema Whaif immeuiately piioi to the uemolition constitutes a violation of theii
iights to libeity guaianteeu unuei the 1999 Constitution of the Feueial Republic of
Nigeiia, the Afiican Chaitei on Buman anu Peoples Rights, anu the Inteinational
Covenant on Civil anu Political Rights.

S.S A BECLARATI0N that the 27 }une - 2 }uly 2u12 uemolition of Abonnema Whaif iesulteu
in violations of the iight to family anu piivate life, the iight to livelihoou implicit in the
iight to life, anu the iight to euucation guaianteeu unuei the 1999 Constitution of the
Feueial Republic of Nigeiia, the Inteinational Covenant on Economic, Social anu Cultuial
Rights, the Inteinational Covenant on Civil anu Political Rights, anu the Afiican Chaitei
on Buman anu Peoples Rights, among othei instiuments to which Nigeiia is paity.

S.6a An 0RBER of NANBAT0RY IN}0NCTI0N oiueiing the Riveis State uoveinment to
ietuin the lanu at Abonnema Whaif to foicibly evicteu iesiuents anu iebuilu theii
wiongfully uemolisheu homes, business places anu community facilities;

:1/$/$"( 71A B".#1) *0$#/$"( "C 3-"((1+% D5%.C D%/1.C."(/ ,"++E($/9F GH IE(1JG IE&9 GKLM

2u of 17
S.6b 0i, if the above oiuei is ueemeu absolutely impossible, an 0RBER of NANBAT0RY
IN}0NCTI0N oiueiing the Riveis State uoveinment to iesettle evictees, at no cost to
them, to a compaiable piece of lanu to that at Abonnema Whaif that is satisfactoiy the
evictees; anu to pay auequate sums (at least NSS million foi block stiuctuies anu NSS
million foi thatch stiuctuies) to iebuilu theii uemolisheu stiuctuies.

S.7 An 0RBER 0F NANBAT0RY IN}0NCTI0N oiueiing the Riveis State uoveinment to pay
auequate compensation foi all moveable piopeities wiongfully lost, uamageu oi
uestioyeu anu foi all iights violations suffeieu by each evictee in the couise anu in the
afteimath of the foiceu eviction.

S.8 An 0RBER 0F NANBAT0RY IN}0NCTI0N oiueiing the Riveis State uoveinment to
pioviue, at no cost to evictees, social anu othei suppoit seivices to auuiess the tiauma
anu othei psychological anu emotional haim suffeieu by evictees.

S.9 An 0RBER of NANBAT0RY IN}0NCTI0N oiueiing the Riveis State uoveinment to
iefiain fiom caiiying out anu take immeuiate steps to pievent foiceu evictions in the
state, incluuing uomesticating the piohibition on foiceu evictions into Riveis State law.

Submitteu on 26 Septembei 2u1S.


Negan Chapman
Staff Attoiney
Social anu Economic Rights Action Centei
Plot 7S8, Chief Thomas Aueboye Biive
0mole Phase 2, Isheii, Lagos

+2S4.818.719.6u21 (mobile)
+2S4.1.764.6299 (office)
megan.cseiac.oig infoseiac.oig



12-16 MARCH 2009

Ministry of Works, Housing and Urban Development of the Federal Republic of
Social and Economic Rights Action Center (SERAC),
Women Environment Programme (WEP)

Exhibit B - Exec. Summary of UNHABITAT Report
The responsibility for the content of this report, including its
recommendations, rests entirely with UN-HABITAT.

The time devoted to the Mission and the contributions of those individuals
and organisations listed in the annexes are acknowledged and appreciated.

This report has been produced without formal editing by the United Nations.

The designations employed and the presentation of the material in this report
do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the
United Nations Secretariat concerning the legal status of any country,
territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of
its frontiers or boundaries.

Reference to names of firms and commercial products and processes does
not imply their endorsement by the United Nations, and a failure to mention
a particular firm, commercial product or process is not a sign of disapproval.

Excerpts from the text may be reproduced without authorization, on
condition that the source is indicated.

Cover photo: Legal structure along the upper part of Abonnema Wharf,
demolished during the period 10 to 13 February 2009.
Photo credit: Social and Economic Rights Action Center (SERAC)

Abuja and Nairobi, August 2009


AGFE - Advisory Group on Forced Evictions to the Executive Director
C of O - Certificate of Occupancy
CAP - Chapter of Law
CESCR - Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
COHRE - Centre on Forced Eviction and Housing Rights
EIA - Environmental Impact Assessment
ERSO - Experimental Reimbursable Seeding Operation
GRA Government Reservation Area
GUO - Global Urban Observatory
HAPSO Habitat Programme Support Office
HAPSO - Habitat Programme Support Office
HIC - Habitat International Coalition
HLRN - Housing and Land Rights Network
IAI - International Alliance of Inhabitants
LUO - Local Urban Observatory
MDG - Millennium Development Goals
MDGs - Millennium Development Goals
MoU - Memorandum of Understanding
NEPAD - New Partnership for African Development
NGN - Nigerian Naira
NGOs - Non-Governmental Organizations
NIWA - National Inland Waterways Authority
NUTN - National Union of Tenants of Nigeria
RSG - Rivers State Government
SERAC - Social and Economic Rights Action Center
SPDC - Shell Petroleum Development Company
TOL - Temporary Occupation License
TOL - Temporary Occupation Licenses
TV - Television
UN - United Nations
UN-HABITAT- United Nations Human Settlements Programme
UNICEF - United Nations Children Fund
USD - United States Dollar
WDMC - Waterfronts Development Monitoring Committee

Table of Contents
Acronyms ...............................................................................................................................................iii
Table of Contents...................................................................................................................................iv

INTRODUCTION ............................................................................................. 1

1.1. Justification of the fact-finding mission ................................................................................. 1
1.2. Preparations for the fact-finding mission............................................................................... 3
1.3. Mission objectives and activities ............................................................................................. 4
1.4. Mission participants................................................................................................................. 5
1.5. Mission methodology ............................................................................................................... 6
1.6. Structure of the report............................................................................................................. 6

OF THE DEMOLITIONS IN PORT HARCOURT............................................. 8

2.1. Location and history of Port Harcourt................................................................................... 8
2.2. Population growth.................................................................................................................... 9
2.3. The urbanisation, housing and governance crisis ............................................................... 10

DEMOLITIONS.............................................................................................. 12

3.1. The new Greater Port Harcourt Development Plan ........................................................... 12
3.2. Development control as key instrument for urban restructuring ................................... 14
3.3. Implementation of the Development Plan............................................................................ 14


4.1. Inventory and typology of demolitions................................................................................. 15
4.1.1. Demolition of allegedly illegal structures........................................................................ 15
4.1.2. Demolition of legal structures ............................................................................................. 20
4.1.3. Demolition of waterfront settlements .................................................................................. 25
4.2. Total affected population since 2008 .................................................................................... 31
4.3. Impact of the demolitions ...................................................................................................... 32
4.4. The area of greatest concern planned large-scale demolitions for the public-private
partnership development of Silverbird Showtime............................................................................. 33

LEGISLATION............................................................................................... 38

5.1. The lack of a legal basis for the demolitions as a result of absence of required
institutional framework and planning procedures ............................................................................ 39
5.2. Due process analysis: demolition of allegedly illegal structures according to the Rivers
State Physical Planning and Development Law 2003........................................................................ 42
5.2.1. Do all illegal structures have to be demolished?.............................................................. 42
5.2.2. Do owners of illegal structures have to pay for the demolition?...................................... 46
5.2.3. Do owners of illegal structures have a right to compensation?........................................ 47
5.3. Due process analysis of demolition of legal structures according to the Rivers State
Physical Planning and Development Law 2003 and the national Land Use Act 1978.................... 48
5.3.1. When does the Government have the right to compulsory acquisition of property?........... 49
5.3.2. Has the RSG followed due process in acquiring properties for overriding public purpose?49
5.3.3. How was the compensation level determined?.................................................................... 50
5.3.4. Were owners satisfied with the money they received from the RSG for their buildings?... 51
5.3.5. What are the rights of tenants after the RSG acquired the legal properties they occupied? 51

5.3.6. Was adequate notice given to occupants of legal buildings prior to demolition?................ 57
5.3.7. Do owners of legal buildings have a right to resettlement?................................................. 57
5.4. Due process analysis of the planned demolition of entire waterfront communities
according to the Rivers State Physical Planning and Development Law 2003................................ 59
5.4.1. What are the provisions of the 2003 Law? .......................................................................... 60
5.4.2. To what degree has the RSG followed the provisions of the 2003 Law?............................ 63
5.5. Due process analysis of the Port Harcourt demolitions according to relevant regional and
international laws ................................................................................................................................. 73
5.5.1. Demolitions versus forced evictions .............................................................................. 73
5.5.2. Regional housing rights legislation ..................................................................................... 73
5.5.3. International housing rights legislation and instruments ..................................................... 74

6. GENERAL CONCLUSIONS................................................................... 76

7. WAY-FORWARD AND RECOMMENDATIONS .................................... 78

7.1. Latest institutional developments a window of opportunity for the implementation of
the provisions of the 2003 Law............................................................................................................ 78
7.2. Recommendations .................................................................................................................. 79
7.3. UN-HABITAT response to the RSGs request for technical assistance ............................ 83

8. ANNEXES ................................................................................................ 1

8.1. Mission programme ................................................................................................................. 1
8.2. Meetings and attendance ......................................................................................................... 3
8.3. Coverage of relevant issues in newspapers .......................................................................... 11
8.4. Forced evictions in Port Harcourt prior to 2008 ................................................................. 15
8.4.1. Rainbow Town July 2000................................................................................................. 15
8.4.2. Agip Waterside Community December 2004 to April 2005 ............................................ 17
8.5. Documentation on relevant court cases................................................................................ 19
8.6. Information materials by the Rivers State Government .................................................... 21
8.7. Legislative and policy frameworks for urban planning in Port Harcourt ........................ 24
National legislative and policy frameworks for urban planning........................................................ 24
8.7.1. The Land Use Act 1978....................................................................................................... 24
8.7.2. National Urban and Regional Planning Law No. 88 of 1992.............................................. 26
8.7.3. National Urban Policy......................................................................................................... 30
8.7.4. National Housing Policy...................................................................................................... 35
Rivers State legislative and policy frameworks for urban planning .................................................. 37
8.7.5. Rivers State Physical Planning and Development Law No 6 of 2003................................. 38
8.7.6. Rivers State Lands Law (Temporary Occupation Regulation)............................................ 43
8.8. Petitions, press releases and correspondence on demolitions in Port Harcourt ............... 44

Executive Summary

1. Mission background and justification

A five-person fact-finding mission led by UN-HABITAT has visited Port Harcourt,
Nigeria, from 12 to 16 March 2009. The mission team was composed of UN-
HABITAT staff who are based in Nairobi and Abuja, and representatives of the
Federal Ministry of Works, Housing and Urban Development and the Nigerian-based
non governmental organisations Social and Economic Rights Action Center (SERAC)
and Women Environmental Programme (WEP).

In addition to petitions received by UN-HABITAT, an international outcry about
large-scale demolitions and reported violations of housing rights undertaken by the
Rivers State Government (RSG) triggered the organisation of this fact-finding mission.
Various UN-HABITAT partners and members of the Advisory Group on Forced
Evictions to the Executive Director of UN-HABITAT (AGFE) had also expressed their
concerns and requested UN-HABITAT to undertake a mission to assess the situation,
or alternatively field an AGFE mission to look at the matter in situ. Security concerns
and availability of experts adversely affected an earlier response of UN-HABITAT.

2. Methodology

The Mission objectively assessed the on-going and planned demolitions. It visited
different sites where demolitions have recently occurred as well as locations where
they are planned to take place. Additionally, the Mission met with Government
officials, carried out individual interviews and group discussions and reviewed a wide
range of documentation including web-based reports, official government reports, and
legal papers and plans. The Mission interviewed and held consultations with the
widest possible range of stakeholders including Government, NGOs, and civil society

3. Housing situation in Port Harcourt city

Port Harcourt city has more than 800,000 inhabitants (2006 census) living within its
municipal boundary. According to the RSG, the population of Greater Port Harcourt
currently stands at 1.2 million. The city has experienced spontaneous and
uncontrolled physical growth arising from rapid urbanisation during the last four
decades. Faced with the high cost of inner-city rentals and scarcity of housing, many
households, especially rural migrants, resorted to land reclamation of swamps along
the waterfronts and their subsequent occupation via self-help housing construction.
This process of growth was not foreseen by the 1975 Master Plan that aimed at
providing infrastructure and orderly development for the fast-growing city. The citys
1975 Plan was never fully implemented.

The following persons participated in the Mission: Prof. Johnson Falade, Habitat Programme
Manager in Nigeria (Head of Mission); Rasmus Precht, Human Settlements Officer, Housing Policy
Section, UN-HABITAT (Headquarters, Nairobi, Kenya); Morenike Babalola, Federal Ministry of
Public Works, Housing and Urban Development, Abuja, Nigeria; Victoria Ohaeri, Programme
Coordinator, Social and Economic Rights Action Center (SERAC), Lagos, Nigeria; and Priscilla
Achakpa, Executive Director, Women Environment Programme (WEP), Abuja, Nigeria.


4. The RSGs justification for the demolitions

The Mission verified that indeed demolitions have taken place. Areas have been
cleared and other sites are earmarked for further demolitions. The RSG justifies its
clearance actions on its urban renewal strategy and its attempts to execute part of the
1975 Master Plan. The Mission concluded that the re-establishment of development
control which has been neglected by previous administrations resulting into
encroachments on vacant land and into residential development along the waterfronts
is one of the most important drivers behind the on-going demolitions.

5. Location and typology of demolitions

The Mission witnessed demolitions in different parts of the city, some triggered by
infrastructure development projects (road dualisation; installation of water mains and
drainage; hospital expansion); others by the RSGs efforts to enforce development
control. The Mission identified three types of demolitions:

5.1. Demolition of allegedly illegal structures
This concerns allegedly unauthorised extensions and transformations of originally
legal structures in planned neighbourhoods like the Government Reservation Area
(GRA), e.g. walls outside legal plot boundaries, additional buildings within plots, and
full buildings encroaching on road reservations and other public spaces. It also
concerns clusters of structures that have been erected allegedly without development
permits in areas not planned for this purpose, including unplanned markets and
workshops. The RSG does not compensate owners of illegal structures.

5.2. Demolition of legal structures
This concerns buildings whose owners hold valid land titles (Certificate of
Occupancy), approved building plans and building permits. Owners of legal structures
are legally entitled to compensation and the RSG has a policy of paying compensation
for the demolition of legal structures.

5.3. Demolition of entire waterfront settlements
This concerns unplanned residential developments along the waterfronts, i.e. the
swampy areas between the creeks and higher-lying planned areas of Port Harcourt.
The tenure status of waterfront settlements differs significantly from all other
neighbourhoods in Port Harcourt. The issue of legality versus illegality requires a
wider perspective. The 1975 Master Plan does not provide for residential occupation
of the waterfronts, and parts of them are likely to fall under the jurisdiction of the
National Inland Waterways Authority. Waterfront residents do not hold land titles but
Temporary Occupation Licenses (TOL). A TOL is revocable and only allows
construction of a temporary hut. Since most structures in the waterfronts are built
from permanent materials, they are strictly speaking illegal. However, the fact that
residents have gone beyond what the TOL permits has not stopped Government
officials from regularly renewing the TOLs, thus tacitly tolerating and recognising
these settlements.


No waterfront had been demolished yet by the time of the Mission, but the RSG had
announced that it would demolish all waterfronts and redevelop them. Enumeration of
property owners was underway at Abonnema Wharf and Njemanze waterfronts at the
time of the Mission. The RSG intends to compensate structure owners. No
resettlement is foreseen.

6. Focus of the Missions site visits: settlements within 2km of the Silverbird
Showtime project

The Mission concentrated its site visits on the area surrounding the former Obi Wali
Cultural Centre on Abonnema Wharf Road in Mile One, Diobu. The past and planned
demolitions in this area are caused by the implementation of the Silverbird Showtime
project, a stand-alone 8-screen cinema with several related commercial developments.
According to the public-private partnership agreement between the RSG and
Silverbird Ltd., all settlements located within 2km of the Silverbird project have to
undergo urban renewal.

The Mission verified the most recent demolition of legal structures along the upper
part of Abonnema Wharf Road, carried out by the RSG in February 2009 to clear the
site for the Silverbird parking area. The office of the National Union of Tenants of
Nigeria (NUTN) was in one of the demolished buildings. NUTN and other
organizations had reported on these demolitions in great detail. SERAC had paid a
visit to the area while assessing these demolitions in situ and had witnessed the

The Mission visited two sites where evictions and demolitions were being prepared:
(i) Azikiwe and neighbouring streets (road expansion for access to Silverbird site);
and (ii) Abonnema Wharf Waterfront. Houses in these areas were marked with a red
x, for demolition. The Mission confirmed through various sources, including the
RSG, that Njemanze Waterfront, equally situated within 2km of Silverbird, was
undergoing the same preparatory process for demolition. The three areas
accommodate large populations in a high number of residential structures.

7. The population affected by demolitions

Habitat International Coalitions Housing and Land Rights Network reported in
January 2009 that between June and October 2008, officials have destroyed
numerous buildings and made 200,000 people homeless in Port Harcourt and in
December 2008, the government rendered 125,000 homeless people with evictions on
just four major streets in Port Harcourt: Bonny Street, Creek Road, Gambia Lane, and
Anyama Street. Should this be correct, it would mean that 325,000 people or nearly
50 per cent of the citys population were evicted from their homes by the end of 2008.
These alarming numbers have been quoted in petitions sent to UN-HABITAT by
international organisations like HIC, COHRE, and IAI. However, observations made
on site coupled with rapid map and orthophoto interpretation made thereafter by the
Mission suggest that the number of persons evicted since 2008 is significantly lower.

The main difficulty in estimating affected populations is that there is no
comprehensive, reliable and recent data about the total number of residents who live
in the waterfront settlements. It appears that an enumeration and census of the area
has never been done to establish this baseline information. This explains the
contradicting figures disclosed to the Mission:

A 2007 report issued by a Government committee mentions that there are 41
waterfront communities that house 25 per cent of the total population of Port
Harcourt city. According to the 2006 Census this would translate into a total of
200,000 waterfront residents.
NUTN estimates that all waterfront settlements together contain more than 75,000
buildings with a total population of over 900,000, or two-thirds of the total
population of Port Harcourt main-city. This is unlikely to be correct and gives
evidence about the difficulties in assessing the exact number of waterfront

The much needed enumeration exercise would not only identify the total number of
waterfront residents; it would also provide data on absent owners, occupancy rates,
number of tenants, etc.

The Mission estimates that if the demolition of all waterfront settlements goes ahead
as planned and announced by the RSG, it is likely that at least 200,000 residents will
loose their homes. This is a conservative figure based on the Governments total
waterfront population estimate. However, analysis by the Mission gives evidence that
it is likely that the waterfronts are occupied by a larger population. The occupants of
legal and illegal structures in other parts of the city need to be added to this estimate
of affected persons in the waterfronts. Thus, the Mission anticipates that the RSGs
urban renewal programme if executed as announced will probably destroy the
homes of up to 300,000 Port Harcourt residents. In addition to residential structures,
there are the numerous demolished shops, workshops and other small business
structures in various parts of the city that provided livelihoods for thousands of low-
income residents. The Mission estimates that the Silverbird Showtime project alone
will lead to land clearance affecting between 100,000 and 150,000 people.

8. Social and economic impacts of demolitions and evictions

The Mission verified the absence of a relocation policy that would otherwise provide
housing and livelihood alternatives. This has rendered many people homeless putting
them under considerable strain particularly because of the scarcity of accommodation
that results into soaring and unaffordable rents. Residents described their sufferings
to the Mission during site visits. Additionally, losses incurred by inhabitants both in
their private assets and in their livelihood opportunities have been brought to the
attention of the Mission. These adversely affect poverty alleviation strategies and tend
to stimulate slum formation elsewhere. The recent and on-going demolitions no doubt
inflict distress, perpetuate poverty and homelessness, and thus jeopardize Nigeria's
progress to achieve the MDG 7, Target 11 that seeks to ensure a significant
improvement in the living conditions of at least 100 million slum dwellers by 2020.

9. Legal provisions and inadequate observance to their enforcement

9.1. Inadequate institutional framework
The RSG has not implemented most of the provisions of the Rivers State Physical
Planning and Development Law of 2003. In particular, it did not establish the
institutions and mechanisms prescribed for the implementation of urban renewal
activities. Consequently, the ongoing urban renewal initiative with its numerous
demolitions cannot find its full legal backing from this Law. In other words, the
demolitions carried out by the current administration do not comply with the legal and
institutional framework provided by the law.

9.2. Discretionary use of development control
The Mission observed strict discretionary use of development control in contradiction
to provisions of the 2003 Law which advocates for more participatory, humane and
inclusive approaches. The Mission observed a rather narrow interpretation and
application of the 2003 Law that purposely serves to rectify the negligence of
previous administrations regarding development control over its territory during a
time when it was required and which would have prevented illegal buildings,
encroachments and informal settlements and consequently the costly and socially
pervasive evictions and demolitions. The Mission concluded that the present policy is
non-inclusive and not pro-poor and not in compliance with the Habitat Agenda. It is
socially and economically costly with very negative implications for the international
image of the city. The Mission was informed by the RSG that it does not have any
guidelines on how to carry out evictions and demolitions.

9.3. Compensation only for landlords and not for tenants
Analysis made by the Mission reveals that the RSG buys out legal properties from
their respective owners instead of opting for land acquisition through a revocation
order for overriding public purposes, as defined in statutory laws (1978 Land Use
Act). No other option is offered. The RSG pays the replacement value at market rates
minus the value of depreciation of the properties. The RSG does not provide for
resettlement or compensation of tenants and has no will to establish any other support
mechanisms for tenants who are rendered homeless. The Mission noticed that the
RSG does not apply the provisions of the Land Use Act in the Silverbird area because
the Land Use Act only provides for the revocation of land use rights for overriding
public interest but not for private interests.

9.4. Non observation of tenants rights
The RSG pastes Demolition Notices on buildings that it has already bought. This
shows a discrepancy in the procedure: It appears that Demolition Notices are used to
evict sitting tenants from the RSGs own buildings. Anecdotal evidence points out
that landlords cash in their compensation and disappear, leaving the landlord-tenant
relationship to the new owner the Government. The latter seems to ignore rights and
obligations of both parties. The eviction of sitting tenants as practised by the RSG is
in contradiction with the Rivers State rental legislation that prescribes that only the
court can order the eviction of tenants on the grounds that the premises are reasonably
required for any purpose which is in the public interest. Considering that the
agreement between the RSG and Silverbird is based on private sector business
interests, this is clearly not a case of overriding public interest.

In addition, tenants are left at their own fate and very little evidence was provided to
the Mission regarding the existence of tenancy contracts on buildings subject to buy-
out and subsequent demolition. This would otherwise safeguard rights of the

The Mission confirmed that tenants of legal structures in the upper part of Abonnema
Wharf Road that were demolished in February 2009 had initiated a court case against
the RSG in August 2008. This suit was seeking an injunction to restrain the RSG from
interfering with the tenants constitutionally-enshrined rights to privacy, family life,
and dignity of Human Person, whether by means of forced evictions or by any other
means as may constitute an infraction of these fundamental rights. The Federal High
Court order against the Commissioner for Urban Development to halt the demolitions
was ignored and the forced eviction executed by the RSG.

9.5. Inadequate notice
Demolitions carried out by the RSG are not preceded by timely notice to occupants
who must vacate the buildings. The Mission verified cases in which occupants were
not allowed to remove their personal belongings and personal effects from the
buildings under demolition. Additionally, the Mission verified the use of force in the
Abonnema Wharf Road demolitions from the part of the Government.

10. Planned re-development of waterfronts: inadequate application and
interpretation of State and Federal laws

10.1. National Inland Waterways Act of 1997
The Mission noticed that the Rivers State Physical Planning and Development Law of
2003 may not apply to the waterfronts, or parts of them, as these areas may fall under
the jurisdiction of the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) that has the right
to all land within the right-of-way of such waterways. According to the National
Inland Waterways Act of 1997 no person including a State has the right to erect
permanent structures; reclaim land; undertake acquisition or lease/hire of properties
within the right-of-way without the written consent, approval or permission of the
Authority. The Authority has exclusive right to acquire, develop and use any landed
property. These provisions may limit the RSGs possibility to acquire (through buy-
out), demolish and re-develop the waterfront settlements.

During its discussions with the Mission, the RSG did not mention the National Inland
Waterways Act, and the Mission only became aware of the Acts provisions when
carrying out a detailed legal analysis after the site visits in Port Harcourt. It remains to
be established to what degree the Act applies to all waterfronts (depending on their
distance from the waterways and/or level of flooding). In any case, the Mission
established that any waterfront re-development without the approval of Federal
Government runs the high risk of being a violation of federal law. Further study by
the RSG of the 1997 Law and its applicability is needed, in conjunction with Federal
Government and the communities concerned.

For those parts of the waterfronts where the Rivers State Physical Planning and
Development Law of 2003 does apply (to be verified), the Mission concluded that the
RSGs approach to waterfront redevelopment based on clearance contravenes the

provisions of the 2003 Law for due process to be complied with by any urban renewal

10.2. Failure to declare waterfronts Improvement Areas
The main omission is that the waterfront settlements demarcated for demolition in the
context of the Silverbird Project have not been declared Improvement Areas. If the
2003 Law would be fully and properly implemented, Port Harcourts waterfronts
would have to be declared Improvement Areas. This would imply that plans would be
publicly presented and the general public would be informed about its proceedings.
Moreover, the Government would be responsible for the fate of owners, occupants
and tenants of buildings subject to demolition, contrary to the current practice
whereby only property owners are entitled to compensation.

10.3. Lack of transparency and participation/consultation
The Mission uncovered the absence of information provision to the citizens of Port
Harcourt, as well as communication, consultation and public participation with regard
to the RSGs urban renewal plans.

10.4. Non consideration of alternatives to demolition/redevelopment
The Mission found that the RSG followed only one particular recommendation on
how to bring about urban renewal in the waterfronts. The Committee on Port Harcourt
Waterfronts in 2007 advised the RSG in favour of demolition/redevelopment. The
RSG appeared to have followed this recommendation blindly without considering any
of the alternatives provided for in the 2003 Law, such as in situ
upgrading/rehabilitation and resettlement of the residents of housing that cannot be
upgraded and/or serviced.

The Mission verified widespread fear amongst the residents of all areas visited.
Waterfront residents fear that the present redevelopment process will lead to large-
scale losses of homes and jobs as well as distress particularly to those who have no
access to alternative accommodation and places for income-generating activities.
Given that demolitions are being carried out without proper planning and with no
engagement of residents, the Government misses a unique opportunity to develop
constructive and appropriate alternatives with and for the local community. The
Mission is seriously concerned about the destruction of social safety networks and
community service provision mechanisms that are essential for the survival of poor
households in the urban economy.

In the provisions of the 2003 Law would have been followed, it appears unlikely that
the Silverbird public-private partnership project, regarded as an initiative for the
public good, would have been approved and executed the way it is. The
redevelopment of two entire waterfront settlements as well as several other
communities who have lived in legal structures for many years, at this scale and
magnitude, does not match any criteria of public social responsibility. In fact, the
2003 Law promotes where technically, financially and environmentally possible
in situ upgrading of existing settlements as part of an inclusive, pro-poor urban
renewal programme. If implemented, this would create the basis for the
transformation of informal settlements located within the surrounding 2 km of the
Silverbird site into sustainable neighbourhoods. These could contain possibilities for
high-rise, multi-family, high-density housing where people can sustain their

livelihoods while living and earning their income from Silverbirds mall and
entertainment parks and its surroundings. The Mission noted that the Memorandum of
Understanding (MoU) between the RSG and Silverbird Ltd. does not specify which
form the required urban renewal programme within a radius of 2 km of the project site
should take. Thus, in situ upgrading and rehabilitation would be in line with the MoU.

11. A view from the rights-based approach to housing

From the housing rights point of view, the Mission found that only few owners
received compensation for their properties through a buy-out approach by the RSG
and moved somewhere else in the city. Many Port Harcourt residents who have been
affected by the demolitions owners and tenants have been forced out of their
homes against their will and have not received adequate compensation because their
properties were considered illegal or because they were tenants. They are therefore
victims of forced evictions as defined in the General Comment No. 7 (1997) on the
Right to Adequate Housing, issued by the Committee on Economic, Social and
Cultural Rights: Forced eviction is the permanent or temporary removal against
their will of individuals, families and/or communities from the homes and/or land
which they occupy, without the provision of, and access to, appropriate forms of legal
or other protection. The prohibition on forced evictions does not, however, apply to
evictions carried out by force in accordance with the law and in conformity with the
provisions of the International Covenants on Human Rights.

The Mission concluded that the current practice by the RSG is in conflict with the
Habitat Agenda through which Governments committed themselves to protecting all
people from, and providing legal protection and redress for, forced evictions that are
contrary to the law, taking human rights into consideration; [and] when evictions are
unavoidable, ensuring, as appropriate, that alternative suitable solutions are

12. Government responses for guiding Port Harcourts development

The Mission acknowledges a positive legislative initiative by the RSG to establish a
new boundary for Greater Port Harcourt City and create the Greater Port Harcourt
City Development Authority. The bill
suggests that the newly established entity will
regulate development and improve and maintain the city and its region and prepare a
new Master Plan to guide its development. The bill opens an opportunity for civil
society participation and for the setting-up of a new institutional framework for urban
governance involving eight local governments. The Greater Port Harcourt City
Development Authority appears as a response to fragmented local governance and
seems to offer a new model that can be potentially replicated elsewhere in Nigeria.
The Bill provides for all lands within the Greater Port Harcourt City to be under the
management of the new Authority. This means that this Authority would take over the
task of land and property allocation and acquisition, development control, land
administration, project planning and overall urban management.

Habitat Agenda (1996), Chapter III: Commitments, A. Adequate shelter for all (Paragraphs 39-41),
Paragraph 40 (n)
Since the Mission visited Port Harcourt in March 2009, this Bill has been passed into law. The
provisions are substantially the same.


However, it did not become clear to the Mission how gaps in the existing institutional
framework will be addressed by this new authority so that, among other things, more
efficiency, participation, inclusiveness and wider housing opportunities can be
accomplished. There seems to exist no provision that revokes other laws relating to
urban planning in Rivers State. While the bill makes reference to the national Land
Use Act, it does not mention the Rivers State Physical Planning and Development
Law of 2003. Therefore, the Mission is of the opinion that the new bill does not
release the RSG from its responsibility to implement the 2003 Law. This needs to be
legally confirmed. The establishment of the State Planning Board, Local Planning
Authorities, and, above all, the Urban Renewal Board is still pending. Failure to fully
implement the provisions of the 2003 Law implies that urban renewal will continue
outside of the prescribed legal and institutional frameworks, thus leading to more
forced evictions and demolitions.

13. Recommendations and way forward

Finally, recommendations are made by the Mission to address comprehensively the
development challenges of Port Harcourt (see full list of recommendations in the next
section). The Mission recognises the need to establish proper development control
and adequate management of the citys urban environment that can lead to a
sustainable urban development process. However, this should not be at the cost and
exclusion of low-income households, small-scale entrepreneurs, and those living in
informal settlements, tenants and owners of informally built properties alike.

The Mission suggests the enactment of an eviction moratorium and the establishment
of a consultation and participatory mechanism to enable all stakeholders to get
involved in the planning and implementation of the citys development strategy,
including the upgrading and rehabilitation of the waterfront and other informal

The RSG and residents of Port Harcourt private, public, community and social
actors should convene in dialogue so that negotiated alternatives can be found. The
Mission suggests the undertaking of feasibility studies to assess improvement options
for the informal settlements situated along the waterfronts. It also encourages the
Silverbird Group and other private sector companies to make use of their social
corporate responsibility in real estate development projects that have impacts on
peoples livelihoods and housing conditions. This will enable cost-sharing
alternatives and private sector participation in the application of proper compensation
and provision of adequate housing to those who are affected by urban renewal and
development projects in the city.

Abuja and Nairobi, 21 August 2009

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on AUGUST 24, 2012 in VI EWPOI NT 2:47 pm
Demolition of Abonnema and
other water front

Tweet Tweet 39

ON Tuesday and Wednesday June 26 and 27, 2012, the government
of Rivers State mobilized some earth-moving equipment to
Abonnema Wharf to demolish all houses and destroy property,
thereby rendering a community of about 10,000 people homeless.
Men, women, children were under heavy rain with their property.
This act of the Rivers State Government is inhuman, oppressive,
heartless, and an abuse of right to shelter.
Abonnema Wharf is one of the over 40 waterfronts communities
scattered across Port Harcourt, the capital of Rivers State, which
houses over 80 per cent of the city residents.
The state government has brandished the communities as nests of
criminals that must be demolished. Governor Rotimi Amaechi
claimed that the demolition is part of the urban renewal policy and
also to check activities of criminally-minded individuals who use the
water-fronts as operational bases.
But will the same government demolish highbrow areas because
some looters in position of power who have stolen public funds
reside there?
However, each time these heartless leaders want to render the poor
homeless so as to acquire the same land, they blackmail the poor as
criminals not fit to live. For instance, in Lagos when Colonel Raji
Rasaki, a former military governor of the state, wanted to demolish
Maroko in 1990, the reason he gave was that criminals hid in the
About 300,000 people were rendered homeless. Years later, the
same Maroko is now home for the rich. Does it make sense to
demolish highbrow areas because some fraudulent politicians who
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Exhibit C - News Articles re: demolition
of Abonnema Wharf
t het
Waterfronts DemoIition: Echoes From Abonnema Wharf
Posted by admin on Jul 4th, 2012 and f iled under Features. You can f ollow any responses to this
entry through the RSS 2.0. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback f rom your own
On Wednesday, June 27, 2012, members of the Abonnema Wharf Waterf ront community in Port Harcourt,
the Rivers State capital, were rudely awakened f rom deep slumber to the f rightening presence of stern-
looking soldiers and mobile policemen who, in a commando- style operation, evicted them f orcef ully
f rom their residences. The security operatives began the demolition of over 300 houses on the orders
of the Rivers State Government.
Abonnema Wharf Waterf ront is one of the over 30 waterf ronts dotting across Port Harcourt and its
environs that had been marked f or demolition by the state government. The government believes that
demolition of slums, where over 60 percent of Port Harcourt residents reside, was not only part of
Governor Amaechi's urban renewal policy, but a move to check activities of criminally-minded persons
who use the waterf ronts as operational bases.
Government claims that waterf ronts in Port Harcourt have become depots f or arms and ammunition.
Because of the notoriety of the slums, so many criminal activities are not reported to the police and
other security agencies. Some residents of the area have gone dangerously f ar to install observatory
points where security agents are monitored.
nvestigations by The Tide reveal that last Wednesday's demolition exercise took residents of the area
unawares. Neither notices were issued nor were alternative accommodation provided f or them.
The Tide also gathered that compensation payments were being made bef ore the demolition exercise,
but many property owners claim they have not received any.
A statement by the Rivers State Urban Development Commissioner, Dr. Tammy Danagogo, says the
government would have waited a f ew days more bef ore the demolition exercise since the landlords were
still being paid compensation. He said the process was, however, hastened because of sporadic
gunshots and threats to saf ety of lives and property in the area.
" was in Abuja on Monday when got reports that cult boys were shooting sporadically at Abonnema
Wharf Waterf ront. The shooting continued on Tuesday night till Wednesday morning which made the
bulldozers move in.
"No government will allow the lawlessness at the Abonnema Waterf ront to continue. The cult boys took
laws into their hands but were curtailed by security personnel. The area will be completely demolished f or
the cult boys not to be able to regroup, Danagogo says.
However, in a quick reaction, a legal practitioner, who spoke with The Tide but opted to be identif ied by
his f irst name, Saturday, condemned the action of the government and described it as a violation of the
rights of the residents. The legal practitioner argued that the government should not have embarked on
the demolition af ter assurances to the property owners that it would not go ahead with its planned
action until all compensations and entitlements were paid.
Saturday also asserted that the invasion and destruction of the homes, property and businesses of
residents of the community without the due process of law was callous, illegal, unjust and an af f ront to
constitutional governance. According to him, the action of government was subjudiue since, according to
him, the matter was in court and there is a restraining order made by the court on the Rivers State
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Abonnema Wharf
Demolition: Court
Adjourns Case To Sept. 26
By Blessing Ibunge
A Port Harcourt High Court has
adjourned for hearing until
September 26, the case between the
Abonnema Wharf Community and
the Rivers State Government, over
demolition of properties.
The Abonnema Wharf community
filed a case before Justice S.C
Amadi, to restrain the State
Government from carrying out
demolition exercise of the
waterfront, pending an agreement
between them, complete payment
of compensation to owners of
buildings in the area and
determination of the case in court.
Counsel to the community, Mr. Kalu Obube, who spoke to newsmen at the court
premises, said, a suit is still pending in the court, while the defendant was busy
demolishing buildings in Abonnema, an exercise which the court has not given
them the go ahead to effect action on the said area.
Obube, said the action by the government was a disrespect to the court of law,
stressing that every law abiding government should always wait for the court
ruling on any matter before they could carry out any action.
The counsel said despite the pendency of the lawsuit and a subsisting order of
the interim injunction, the government proceeded, lawlessly and destroyed the
He said, Rivers State Government has no right to demolish the properties of the
applicants while the matter is still in court, adding that they are prepare and
would work hard to see that government is held accountable for all inhuman
activity carried out in the area by the authority.
We have the order of interlocutory injunction, but Abonnema Wharf has been
destroyed. This is abuse of power by the incumbent government, court order
should be obeyed. We are prepared and will go all the length to hold
government accountable, he said.
In a press statement signed by the chairman of Abonnema Wharf Community
House Owners Association, Jim Tom-George stated that the ongoing exercise at
the waterfront which started on June 27, 2012, did not follow due process.
Mr. George claimed that no compensation was paid to owners of property in
Abonnema Wharf as was publicly claimed by the government.
He insisted that there position in the matter remains that, If Rivers State
Government is claiming to have paid compensation to owners of buildings in
Abonnema Wharf, list of the names and amount paid each person should be
published in Local and national newspaper.

published in Local and national newspaper.
In his position, the Executive Director of the Human Rights Social Development
and Environmental Foundation (HURSDEF), Mr. Justine Ijeomah, condemned
the government prompt action in the demolition exercise, stressing that the
action was inhuman.
HURSDEF said that the prompt demolition exercise could be looked as an
excuse for fraudulent activities to take place.
Am looking at it, as an excuse for fraudulent activities to take place, they may
rise up and give any calculated expenditure, as fund allocated for the
demolition of the area and because there is no house to justify it, they may
escape the future probe.

Ijeomah lamented that mothers and their young babies were rendered homeless
under the heavy rain fall.
According to him government of today does not look at the right of its citizens;
rather they make policy in favour of the rich at the detriment of the poor in the
He said proper investigation should be done on the shooting that led to the
prompt demolition, so as to ascertain whether the incident was stage managed
by any groups.
Information received revealed that over 30, 000, persons were displaced as a
result of the exercise.###

National Network Newspapers - 2012 - all rights reserved - ..a Syswaves designed website
him, the matter was in court and there is a restraining order made by the court on the Rivers State
"This government ought to consider that it is a product of the rule of law and ought to weigh every
action it takes on a legal scale. A High Court in Port Harcourt had already issued an injunction
restraining the state government f rom proceeding with action on the matter, in a suit f iled by the Social
and Economic Rights Action Centre, SERAC. Yet, the government went ahead. What signal is it giving to
individuals and institutions? s the demolition of an entire community the answer to the question of
insecurity? Saturday inquired.
A f ormer Abonnema Wharf Waterf ront resident, Mr nemo Joshua, narrated his ordeal to The Tide.
Joshua said he was at home when the demolition team arrived on June 27, 2012, about 6am. With any
one, according to him, not understanding what exactly was going on, bulldozers began to tear down
homes and other structures while residents that were rudely awakened by the exercise f led in
consternation. He added that those who wanted to salvage their property were brutally beaten up by the
demolition team, which carried out the assignment till 7pm.
"Nobody told us that the waterf ront would be demolished so soon. They just came like that and started
destroying people's houses. They did not allow us to carry anything. Like me, didn't remove anything
because they started at my area. What did was to run to the church where am currently taking shelter.
" believe that some persons died because the structures were just f alling on people who were still
sleeping. Wetin the government do dey bad. Make una tell them make them f ind place f or us, Joshua
Another resident of the waterf ront, Mr Ammonia Opuwari, asked what the government had done with
Njemanze Waterf ront which it demolished about three years ago. He claimed that the area still lay f allow
and unutilised. For him, the action of the state government was indef ensible and described it as an
unbridled quest to acquire land f or private investors.
"Why has Njemanze Waterf ront not been developed till now and now we are talking about the demolition
of Abonnema Waterf ront? tell you, people lost so many things. Let the government consider a
resettlement programme as well as compensation f or the victims, he stated.
But to another f ormer resident of the community, Obomate Harry, the demolition was desirable as the
area was no longer saf e f or habitation. According to her, oil bunkery activities of the hoodlums who
resided there had degraded the environment.
"Governor Amaechi did well by demolishing Abonnema Wharf Waterf ront. We are f ed up with the place.
Lives and property are no longer saf e, Harry declared.
Nnoyerem Nwadike also declared support f or the government's action. Though she was af f ected, she
was uncomf ortable living in the place as crimes such as thef t, rape and assault were daily occurrences
there. She, however, called on the government to alleviate the plight of the displaced persons.
Since 2009, the state government has embarked on the demolition of waterf ronts considered to be
security threats to the state. The government started with the demolition of Njemanze Waterf ront
known f or cultism and other vices. The government later demolished Bundu Ama community, another
waterf ront, dominated by the jaw speaking people. However, the exercise was inconclusive as the
residents went to court to challenge the action at the Federal High Court in Port Harcourt. The court in
2010 upheld the action of the state government, hence, giving legal backing to the demolition exercise.
With the demolition exercise of Abonnema Wharf Waterf ront accomplished, the question on many lips in
Rivers State is, what will be the f ate of the thousands of residents that once lived there?
Arnold Alalibo
looted and are still looting public funds resides there?
In a similar vein, the residents said that all the waterfronts in Port
Harcourt have been reserved for hotels, cinemas, parks, shopping
malls and houses for the rich.
So, when the poor are chased out, the rich come to occupy! Besides,
since Njemanze waterfront was demolished in August 2009
rendering about 19,000 people homeless, no major development has
Mr. TEMPLE MORFORD, a social critic, wrote from Port-Harcourt,
Rivers State.
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Morrison Uriah Enugu, Nigeria
Gov't pursuein poor pple 4rm d land dat ws sandfilled by these
poor to enable cover their head 4rm sun n rain.God 've mercy.
Reply Like 24 August 2012 at 08:58
Christian Nwogbo Top commenter Enugu, Nigeria
Leaders pls always put d interest of d masses @ hrt.
Reply Like 24 August 2012 at 09:35
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Discussion Discussion Share Share
Field_Marshal 7 months ago
...and an abuse of right to shelter; get a life Mr Temple,
there was no shelter in Abonnema wharf but shanties!
Fazona 7 months ago Field_Marshal
A shanty to one man is a mansion to another. One
man's meat is another man's poison.
The tears of the poor shanty-living mother and her child
consciencelessly forced into homelessness, and the cries
of the sickly old man thrown into the maelstrom of the hot
African sun, naked cold wind and cloudless sky by the
powerful to the powerless and vulnerable, is never
forgotten by the Cosmic. The inhumanity of man to man is
forever written in the Akashik Records, for Eternity.
"The evil that men do lives after the them; the good is oft
interred in their bones" .... Shakespeare
We always reap what we sow. It's an inviolable Natural
and Spiritual Law.
Amaechi, trapped in his temporal egotistic power will find
out sooner than later, the uselessness and ephemerality of
transient power. One can only pity him for his ignorance
but ignorance of Cosmic Law is not a saving grace from
the consequences of the Law.
We always reap what we sowed. It's the Law.
mkududochukwu 7 months ago
My brother you have said it all. It is a known fact that
the rich always want to oppress the poor. I cried for those
people the day the demolition were going on. It was horrible. All
my effort to avert the demolition proof abortive. The entities i
contacted said it was a directive from the state Governor. I want
to use this opportunity to appeal to the Government to provide
low housing scheme for those affected. Anyway it is a misnomer
tata tata 7 months ago mkududochukwu
son, it is written in the bible that the poor shall not
live close to the riverbank...
Lalu James 7 months ago tata tata
Which Bible? Chapter? Verses?
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21 of 17
(R3*/*+ H = 83"+"U#1]3W "- H%0">*+*", 1,& .-+%#01+3

Bemolition of Abonnema Whaif, }une 27, 2u12

Exhibit D - Photographs of Demolition
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Bulluozeis at Abonnema Whaif, }une 28, 2u12

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Lives ieuuceu to heaps of iubble, }une Su, 2u1S-u9-2S

Exhibit E -
DPP's Legal
Advice & Mag.
Court Order
Striking Out
Crim. Charges

"#$%&#'( )*&+%,
%-#+.#*" *)
'/*""%0' 12'&)
1'.%&)&*".( 34'+5
'", $*67

Exhibit F - Amnesty International
Report on Forced Eviction of
Abonnema Wharf

* ,-##.$" %/ /%$(.& .0)(#)%"1 )" 2%$# 3-$(%'$# !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!#$
!4,-(# %/ /%$(.& .0)(#)%"1 %" 5%4."!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!#%
6)1$.7-$& /%$ 8'&)()-9 ,$%(.11 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!#"
:."-"#1; $)7<#1 )7"%$.&!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!#&
=-(> %/ -&.?'-#. "%#)(. -"& (%"1'9#-#)%"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!#'
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@%" )4,9.4."#-#)%" %/ #<. ABBC D)0.$1 1#-#. 2<E1)(-9 29-"")"7 -"& 6.0.9%,4."# =-5!!((
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D.(%44."&-#)%"1 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!(&

" #$%$&'(%()*+
!"#$%%&#$ &(")$ *+ ,-*..$(" /0"1+2 34 5$-16"17 899:;
"#$%&#'( )*&+%, -.#+/#*0 *1 23*00%4' 56'&1 5'/%&1&*0/( 78'+9 '0, :*;<

=0,%>( AFR 44/034/20T2 240%?/@ =0/%&0'/#*0'A BCA@ DEFD 5

"wheLher demoLon s Lhe governmenL`s sLye of deveopmenL, we do noL undersLand. Ths
Lype of deveopmenL s someLhng LhaL eads peope Lo permanenL sufferng, sad Jm
0eorge, a communLy acLvsL and house owner from Abonnema wharf. Jm 0eorge ved wLh
hs wfe and fve chdren n a Lhree bedroom aparLmenL. He owned 2 budngs n Lhe
waLerfronL, each wLh dozens of rooms LhaL he renLed ouL Lo fames and ndvduas. He osL
hs houses and a hs beongngs. when Lhe demoLon sLarLed, he had Lhe mpresson LhaL
Lhe governmenL woud ony demosh Lhe houses of peope nvoved n gang shooLouLs. Fve
days aLer, on 2 Juy, Lhe enLre communLy had been desLroyed, wLh ony a few budngs

"IL was aL around 6 n Lhe evenng LhaL Lhey lLhe excavaLor) now Lurn around and Lhey have
now come n lLo Lhe resL of Lhe communLy). AfLer seeng Lhe excavaLor comng on
wednesday evenng, LhaL evenng I sLarL Lo arrange my Lhngs, beevng LhaL n Lhe mornng
Lme I w have Lo eave my pace |usL afLer 9 Lo go and ook for a vehce Lo convey our
Lhngs. .. lwhen I reLurned wLh a vehce aLer LhaL day) They lLhe JonL Task Force) dd noL
aow LhaL vehce Lo pass. I come down and expaned mysef Lo Lhem. The nexL man LhaL was
comng lbehnd me) Lhey were even demandng for sma kckbacks Lo pass hs vehce. I sad
no... Before I efL Lhe vehce Lo come down lon fooL Lo my house), a of my pace has been
grounded, and I have Lo eave everyLhng for 0od. Jm 0eorge sad.
0n wednesday 27 June 20T2, aL approxmaLey 7am, one excavaLor arrved aL Abonnema
wharf waLerfronL and, under Lhe supervson of heavy armed securLy forces (members of Lhe
JonL Task Force (JTF), 0peraLon Poo Shed), began Lo demosh budngs n Lhe
communLy around TTam. LaLer a second excavaLor arrved. No noLce was gven pror Lo Lhe
The demoLon was carred ouL despLe a Hgh CourL order n November 20TT resLranng Lhe
Rvers SLaLe governmenL from demoshng Lhe communLy
Thousands of peope have been efL homeess and many were forced Lo seep ouLsde on Lhe
sLreeL or n cars. Many peope nLay found sheLer n a church n Abonnema wharf. The
pasLor Lod AmnesLy InLernaLona on 30 June. "Up Lo 30 peope have been seepng n my
church from Lhe frsL day of Lhe demoLon because Lhey don`L have any sheLer aL a. The
church s gvng Lhem asssLance by gvng Lhem sheLer and a LLe food. we have appeaed
Lo Lhem LhaL Lhey shoud aow Lhe budng of Lhe church Lo reman. 0n Monday 2 Juy, Lhe
church was demoshed as we.

0n behaf of Lhe communLy, Soca and Economc RghLs AcLon CenLre (SERAC) obLaned an order of
nLerm n|uncLon resLranng Lhe Rvers SLaLe governmenL from desLroyng Lhe communLy on November
TT, 20TT, n Jm 0eorge & 0Lhers vs. The ExecuLve 0overnor of Rvers SLaLe & 0Lhers (SuL No.
PHC/2286/2009). A rung on a conLesLed appcaLon of Lhe governmenL Lo vacaLe Lhe nLerm order of
n|uncLon was fxed for Juy 2, 20T2.
!"#$%"&' )*%+$, -."+/"*0 *1 23*00$4& 56&%1 5&/$%1%*0/' 78&+9 &0, :*;<

240$=/> ?0/$%0&/"*0&@ AB@> CDEC ?0,$F' AFR 44/034/20T2 6

!"#$"%#&' )* +,$" )-.)/ 0&' 1$" 12 #"3145651$% 5$ 781$$"3& !9&:2; <"%5#"$6% 411= 1$ &6 &$ ">?&@&61: #"3145%95$A 91,%"%
5$ 69" B&6":2:1$6/

Accordng Lo Lhe Rvers SLaLe governmenL (RS0), Lhe demoLons were carred ouL "for
securLy reasons foowng "an nLense gun baLLe n Lhe communLy on Monday 25 June aL
around TT.30pm. The RS0 sad Lhey were advsed by Lhe securLy forces Lo demosh Lhe
budngs as Lhe ony way Lo sLop Lhe shooLng and mop-up Lhe weapons and LhaL Lhe
demoLons were nLended Lo serve as a deLerrenL for fuLure gang acLvLes n Lhe communLy
and Ls surroundngs.
ResdenLs Lod AmnesLy InLernaLona LhaL Lhere was gunfre n Lhe communLy on Monday
nghL. No one was reporLed ked or n|ured. The foowng day, securLy forces came Lo Lhe
communLy and arresLed approxmaLey T20 peope. Accordng Lo one of Lhe peope arresLed,
Lhey were Laken n mLary boaLs Lo Marne base, where Lhey were deLaned for 2 days. MosL
were reeased wLhouL charge on Thursday 28 June. By Lhe Lme Lhose reeased reLurned Lo
Abonnema wharf, parL of Lhe communLy had aready been demoshed. AL easL 26 were
Lransferred Lo SwfL 0peraLon Squad (S0S), ncudng aL easL sx mnors under Lhe age of
T8. The 25 men and one woman were broughL Lo courL on 3 Juy and charged wLh
commLLng "cuL acLvLes and parLcpaLng n Lhe acLvLes of a cuL under Lhe SecreL CuL
and smar acLvLes (ProhbLon) Laws No 6 of Rver SLaLe 2004. They were arragned n
MagsLraLe CourL 5 and were senL Lo Prson on remand. The accused were refused ba on Lhe
grounds of Lhe "gravLy of Lhe offence. The case has been ad|ourned Lo T2 November 20T2.

"#$%&#'( )*&+%, -.#+/#*0 *1 23*00%4' 56'&1 5'/%&1&*0/( 78'+9 '0, :*;<

=0,%>( AFR 44/034/20T2 240%?/@ =0/%&0'/#*0'A BCA@ DEFD 7
0eorge 0sod
!"#$$%&' )*'+, "%,#+% -*% .%&#/0-0#$ 1 23 !4+0/ 25667

The Abonnema wharf communLy had prevousy been marked for demoLon as parL of RS0s
pans Lo deveop Lhe waLerfronLs and mpemenL Lhe 0reaLer PorL HarcourL MasLer Pan and n
May 20T2, Lhe governmenL sLarLed Lhe process of compensaLon for andords. The
compensaLon process for andords was ongong and many had noL been pad when Lher
homes were demoshed. The Commssoner for Urban DeveopmenL Lod AmnesLy
InLernaLona LhaL L was "unforLunaLe LhaL Lhey had noL been abe Lo compeLe Lhe process
before Lhe demoLons were carred ouL.
MosL Abonnema wharf resdenLs were noL offered any compensaLon, aLernaLve housng or
even emergency sheLer Lo mLgaLe Lhe mpacLs of Lhe recenL demoLon. In addLon, Lhe
demoLons were carred ouL n pourng ran, durng Lhe rany season when Lhe weaLher
condLons are bad and L`s dffcuL for peope Lo move easy around Lo fnd sheLer.
The exacL number of peope who were vng n Abonnema wharf s noL known, as no offca
survey has been carred ouL. Accordng Lo UN-HABITAT esLmaLes from 2009, Lhe popuaLon
of Abonnema wharf s more Lhan 30,000 peope, ncudng Lraders and Lhose engaged n
sma busnesses.
However, many peope may have efL Lhe communLy foowng Lhe ongong
LhreaL of demoLon. Accordng Lo one esLmaLe, beLween T0,000 and 20,000 peope were
forcby evcLed.
The Rvers SLaLe governmenL has noL foowed Ls own Physca Pannng and DeveopmenL
Law 2003 ("Law No 6). Under Lhs aw, L shoud have esLabshed an "Urban Renewa
Board," Lo oversee a urban pannng n Lhe area. The Urban Renewa Board coud have

UN-HABITAT, EvcLons and DemoLons n PorL HarcourL, FacL Fndng Msson ReporL, March 2009
!"#$%"&' )*%+$, -."+/"*0 *1 23*00$4& 56&%1 5&/$%1%*0/' 78&+9 &0, :*;<

240$=/> ?0/$%0&/"*0&@ AB@> CDEC ?0,$F' AFR 44/034/20T2 8
decared areas, such as Lhe waLerfronLs, "mprovemenL areas," whch woud have requred
auLhorLes Lo consuL wLh affecLed resdenLs and provde aLernaLve housng. In fang Lo puL
n pace Lhe necessary ega bodes Lo oversee Lhe demoLon and redeveopmenL of Lhe area,
Lhe RS0 has conLravened sLaLe aw. RS0 aso faed Lo expore a possbe aLernaLves Lo
demoLon as provded for under Lhe aw. (ArLce 50).
The demoLon of houses and evcLon of resdenLs n Abonnema wharf amounLs Lo a forced
evcLon and consequenLy a voaLon of Lhe rghL Lo adequaLe housng among oLher human
rghLs. The evcLons were carred ouL wLhouL Lhe necessary ega and procedura safeguards
ncudng pror and genune consuLaLon wLh resdenLs and wLhouL Lhe provson of adequaLe
noLce, compensaLon or aLernaLve accommodaLon and ega remedes. ResdenLs of Lhe
demoshed communLy have been efL homeess and vunerabe Lo oLher human rghLs
voaLons. Many, ncudng chdren and Lhe edery have been forced Lo seep ouLsde Lher
demoshed homes. women and grs were parLcuary bady mpacLed foowng Lhe 2009
demoLon of anoLher waLerfronL communLy, N|emanze, and AmnesLy InLernaLona s
especay concerned LhaL ack of safeguards means LhaL women and grs from Abonnema
wharf may face smar human rghLs voaLons.
The Rvers SLaLe auLhorLes shoud mmedaLey provde effecLve remedes ncudng
adequaLe aLernaLve housng and compensaLon for a Lhose peope whose homes have been
desLroyed, regardess of wheLher Lhey renL, own, occupy or ease Lhe and or housng n
quesLon. They shoud aso adopL gudenes on deveopmenL based evcLons LhaL are n ne
wLh Lhe UN gudenes, and fuy mpemenL Lhe 2003 Physca Pannng and DeveopmenL
0eorge 0sod

!"#$ &'())*+# !"#,- .((/*0 .1/* '*-(,* $"* 0*+(.1$1()2 345 &6,1. 47889
Nieria: lcrce1 Eiclicr c Alcrrera Rlar Ralerrcrl: |ac| ar1 Oc!"

lr1e\: !"# %%&'(%&)'*) Arresl, lrlerralicral Itl, ZJlZ +

"#$%&' &()%*)#+, -+' ./0-+ $)1.*,
Nieria, ar1 eacl slale willir lle e1eralicr, is cllie1 tr1er a rare c ltrar rills lrealies, irclt1ir lle
lrlerralicral Ocerarl cr Eccrcric, Sccial ar1 Otlltral Rills (lOESOR), lle lrlerralicral Ocerarl cr Oiil
ar1 |clilical Rills (lOO|R) ar1 lle Aricar Olarler cr Ntrar ar1 |ecles' Rills, lc rerair rcr ar1
reerl crce1 eiclicrs.
A crce1 eiclicr is lle rercal c ecle aairsl lleir will rcr lle lcres cr lar1 lle, ccct, willctl leal
rcleclicr ar1 cller saetar1s. lcrce1 eiclicrs are a rcss iclalicr c ltrar rills.
Ur1er irlerralicral ltrar rills law, eiclicrs ra, le carrie1 ctl crl, as a lasl rescrl, crce all cller easille
allerralies lae leer e\lcre1 ar1 ertire ccrstllalicr las la|er lace will ccrrtrilies, ar1 crl, aler
arcriale rcce1tral ar1 leal saetar1s are ir lace. !lese rcleclicrs irclt1e:
! !! ! ertire ccrstllalicr will llcse aecle1,
! !! ! a1etale ar1 reascralle rclice cr aecle1 ecle ricr lc lle eiclicr,
! !! ! ircrralicr cr lle rccse1 eiclicrs ar1, wlere alicalle, cr lle allerralie trcse cr wlicl lle
lar1 cr lctsir is lc le tse1, lc le ra1e aailalle ir reascralle lire lc all llcse aecle1,
! !! ! cerrrerl cicials cr lleir rereserlalies lc le reserl 1trir ar eiclicr,
! !! ! ar,cre carr,ir ctl lle eiclicr lc le rcerl, i1erliie1,
! !! ! eiclicrs rcl lc la|e lace ir arlictlarl, la1 wealler cr al rill,
! !! ! rcisicr c leal rere1ies,
! !! ! rcisicr, wlere cssille, c leal ai1 lc ecle wlc are ir ree1 c il lc see| re1ress rcr lle cctrls.
Ocerrrerls rtsl alsc erstre llal rc cre is rer1ere1 lcreless cr tlreralle lc cller ltrar rills
iclalicrs as a ccrseterce c ar eiclicr. A1etale allerralie lctsir ar1 ccrersalicr cr all lcses rtsl
le ra1e aailalle lc llcse aecle1 ricr lc eiclicr, rear1less c wleller lle, rerl, cwr, ccct, cr lease lle
lar1 cr lctsir ir teslicr. !lese retirererls al, lc all eiclicrs, rear1less c lle lertre slalts c
resi1erls, irclt1ir llcse liir ir ircrral selllererls.
Eiclicrs ra, le carrie1 ctl crl, as a lasl rescrl ar1 aler all easille allerralies lae leer e\lcre1 ir
ertire ccrstllalicr will lle aecle1 ecle. Eer ir cases wlere ar eiclicr is ccrsi1ere1 lc le jtsliie1, il
rtsl slricll, ccrl, will irlerralicral slar1ar1s ar1 rirciles c reascralleress ar1 rccrlicralil,.
Ocerrrerls rtsl erstre llal eiclicrs are rcl carrie1 ctl as a trilie reastre.
l all lle leal saetar1s ar1 rcleclicrs retire1 tr1er irlerralicral law are tl ir lace ar1 ccrlie1
will, ar1 i lle tse c crce is rccrlicrale ar1 reascralle, ller lle eiclicr wctl1 rcl iclale lle rclililicr
cr crce1 eiclicrs.
!"#$%"&' )*%+$, -."+/"*0 *1 23*00$4& 56&%1 5&/$%1%*0/' 78&+9 &0, :*;<

240$=/> ?0/$%0&/"*0&@ AB@> CDEC ?0,$F' AFR 44/034/20T2 T0
! #!$$%&' () )(&*%+ %,-*$-('. -' #(&$ /!&*(0&$

There are ndcaLons LhaL Lhe governmenL s pannng furLher demoLons whch puL oLher
waLerfronL communLes n mmedaLe rsk of forced evcLons.

Abonnema wharf s one of over 40 waLerfronL seLLemenLs n PorL HarcourL, capLa of Rvers
SLaLe, ocaLed n Ngera`s Nger DeLa. The waLerfronL seLLemenLs are buL on recamed and
aong Lhe cLy`s shorene. IL s esLmaLed LhaL beLween 200,000 and 500,000 peope ve n
Lhe waLerfronLs. Abonnema wharf s sLuaLed cose Lo peLroeum Lank farms beongng Lo
dfferenL o companes.

/1234536 78 91:;3:2<6 356=47>53 ?6 =@5 35A7;:=:726 B72=:2153 72 3?> CD $@1463?> CE F125 CGHCI

In Juy 2008, Lhe 0overnor of Rvers SLaLe, RoLm Amaech, announced pans Lo demosh a
waLerfronLs seLLemenLs n Lhe cLy as parL of a programme of 'urban renewa`. The Rvers
SLaLe governmenL cams Lhe demoLon of Lhe waLerfronLs s necessary Lo mpemenL Lhe
0reaLer PorL HarcourL MasLer Pan, Lhe man sLraLegy documenL for Lhe cLy`s redeveopmenL
programme. BuL Lhe pan has been deveoped wLhouL consuLaLon wLh Lhe affecLed
communLes. If Lhe auLhorLes conLnue wLh Lhe panned demoLons of a remanng
waLerfronL seLLemenLs wLhouL frsL mpemenLng adequaLe human rghLs safeguards, more
Lhan 200,000 peope w be forcby evcLed and aL rsk of muLpe human rghLs voaLons.
Many of Lhe resdenLs of Abonnema wharf and oLher waLerfronLs are aso workers of varous
governmenL nsLLuLons and agences. However, Lhe 0overnor of Rvers SLaLe has repeaLedy
"#$%&#'( )*&+%, -.#+/#*0 *1 23*00%4' 56'&1 5'/%&1&*0/( 78'+9 '0, :*;<

=0,%>( AFR 44/034/20T2 240%?/@ =0/%&0'/#*0'A BCA@ DEFD TT
camed LhaL many resdenLs of Lhe waLerfronL communLes such as Abonnema wharf are
"crmnas. He aso sLaLed LhaL "Lhe demoLon exercse lw) sanLze and check crmna
acLvLes n Lhe cLy. However, wdespread demoLon of peope`s homes because of
suspecLed crmna acLvLes by few ndvduas s a voaLon of human rghLs and s conLrary
Lo naLona and nLernaLona human rghLs aw.
AmnesLy InLernaLona s concerned LhaL Lhe
RS0 s usng Lhe prevenLon of crme as an excuse Lo forcby evcL peope.
In February 2009, demoLons of budngs and oLher sLrucLures Look pace aong Abonnema
wharf road, ncudng Lhe oca offce of Lhe NaLona Unon of TenanLs Ngera (NUTN).
Accordng Lo UN-HABITAT approxmaLey 40 Lo 50 budngs and oLher sLrucLures were
0n 28 AugusL 2009, N|emanze waLerfronL was demoshed as parL of Lhe sLaLe auLhorLes`
urban renewa programme for Lhe cLy. IL s esLmaLed LhaL up Lo T7,000 peope were forcby
evcLed from Lher homes. The demoLon of N|emanze s an exampe of how Lhe auLhorLes
faed Lo provde safeguards agansL forced evcLons. Peope vng n Lhe N|emanze
waLerfronL were gven ony a week`s noLce and Lhere was no genune consuLaLon wLh
resdenLs Lo denLfy aLernaLves Lo Lhe evcLon. Peope were noL provded wLh ega remedes
and very few were provded wLh compensaLon or aLernaLve housng. The and where
N|emanze communLy used Lo be has sLood empLy and unused snce Ls demoLon n 2009.
0n 6 November 2009, budngs aong N|emanze SLreeL, ad|acenL Lo N|emanze waLerfronL,
were aso demoshed, scores of peope vng Lhere were forcby evcLed. ResdenLs who had
reocaLed Lhere foowng Lhe demoLon of N|emanze waLerfronL were forcby evcLed a
second Lme.
N|emanze and Abonnema waLerfronLs are wLhn a 2km radus of "Sverbrd ShowLme, an
eghL screen cnema beongng Lo Lhe Sverbrd Company whch opened n Apr 2009.
Accordng Lo UN-HABITAT, Lhe demoLons aL N|emanze and Lhe (Lhen) panned demoLon
of Abonnema wharf are "moLvaLed by Lhe Sverbrd ShowLme pro|ecL.
AmosL Lhree years afLer Lhey osL Lher homes, Lhe forced evcLon conLnues Lo affecL peope`s
ves as many of Lhe seLLemenL`s resdenLs are sL sLruggng Lo rebud Lher ves. Some
reman homeess, ke young boys from N|emanze who now ve under a fyover. 0Lhers had
found a pace Lo ve n Abonnema wharf and have now for Lhe second Lme n Lhree years osL
Lher homes and a Lher beongngs. MosL former N|emanze resdenLs conLnue Lo sLrugge Lo
earn a vng afLer osng Lhe vehoods Lhey depended on n N|emanze. As a resuL many
parenLs can no onger afford Lo pay for Lher chdren Lo go Lo schoo. A gr and former
N|emanze resdenL who moved Lo Abonnema wharf Lod AmnesLy InLernaLona. "My parenLs
used Lo se gar, beans. They had a poL of and where Lhey grew vegeLabes. I used Lo se
wLh Lhem. Here Lhere s no schoo for me, Lhere s nobody Lo Lran me.

ArLce T7 of Lhe ICCPR sLaLes. T. No one sha be sub|ecLed Lo arbLrary or unawfu nLerference wLh
hs prvacy, famy, home or correspondence, nor Lo unawfu aLLacks on hs honour and repuLaLon. 2.
Everyone has Lhe rghL Lo Lhe proLecLon of Lhe aw agansL such nLerference or aLLacks.
!"#$%"&' )*%+$, -."+/"*0 *1 23*00$4& 56&%1 5&/$%1%*0/' 78&+9 &0, :*;<

240$=/> ?0/$%0&/"*0&@ AB@> CDEC ?0,$F' AFR 44/034/20T2 T2
AmnesLy InLernaLona
!"#" %&'(()* +,-./" 0'12'3 ,4 4,&1"5 "0'12',#)* 6,&3"& /7#5/,&5 '# !8"37#9": 5"3,/');"5 '# <==>* ?"& #"@ ;,3" '# A.,##"37
B;7&4 @7) 5"3,/');"5 '# C-#" <=D<*

Nene Brggs was a andord n N|emanze, she dd noL receve any compensaLon when her
budng n N|emanze was demoshed. In 20TT, Lhe 0overnor of Rvers SLaLe vsLed her and
promsed she woud receve her compensaLon. To daLe, she has receved noLhng. She was
vng n a spare room of a famy frend wLh her chdren n Abonnema wharf, her home was
demoshed agan for Lhe second Lme n Lhree years on Frday 29 June 20T2. She has now
senL her chdren back Lo Lhe vage where her famy s.
In addLon, Lhe enumeraLon and vauaLon of PorL HarcourL`s waLerfronL properLes have been
conducLed wLh consderabe rreguarLes. In one seLLemenL, Lhese preparaLory sLages for
demoLon have been accompaned by excessve use of force by Ngeran securLy forces. AL
easL TT men and one T7 year od gr were shoL and serousy n|ured n Bundu waLerfronL on
T2 0cLober 2009 when armed securLy forces opened fre on a crowd of peope peacefuy
proLesLng agansL Lhe proposed demoLon of Lher homes. The LoLa number of dead remans
unknown. AmosL Lhree years aLer, no nvesLgaLon has been carred ouL.

"#$%&#'( )*&+%, -.#+/#*0 *1 23*00%4' 56'&1 5'/%&1&*0/( 78'+9 '0, :*;<

=0,%>( AFR 44/034/20T2 240%?/@ =0/%&0'/#*0'A BCA@ DEFD T3
!"#$%& () )(*%+, +-!%&!(./ (. 0("+.


01234 5116 78 74 39:7;7<1= >3215?8@38 @1238 ?4 $A144327 0@7=B C/7<D=>7E FG HD43 IGJIK

women and grs are especay aL rsk of human rghLs voaLons foowng sLuaLons of
demoLons and forced evcLons. The forced evcLon n N|emanze n AugusL 2009 has shown
Lhe devasLaLng effecLs of a arge scae demoLon of communLes on women and grs. IL
demonsLraLed how women suffer dfferenLy Lo men durng and afLer demoLons of aready
deprved communLes. In addLon Lo osng Lher homes, many women osL Lher busnesses
and oLher cruca sources of ncome and vehood. women n parLcuar fee Lhe mpacL of
Lhe forced evcLons Lhe mosL because Lher busnesses and Lradng are ofLen ocazed wLhn
Lhe communLy whereas men frequenLy have |obs or busnesses ouLsde Lhe waLerfronLs.
Many women are bread wnners of Lher fames. By demoshng communLes such as
N|emanze and Abonnema wharf, Lhe governmenL has punged hundred of sma scae and
nforma busness women nLo poverLy and furLher deprvaLon and exposure Lo oLher human
rghLs voaLons.
Foowng Lhe demoLon of N|emanze, many fames were spL up. 0fLen, Lhe women and
chdren wenL back Lo Lhe vage because Lhey osL Lher ncome or because Lhe men coud no
onger Lake care of Lhem foowng Lhe uncerLanLy and nsecurLy caused by Lhe forced
evcLon. In Lhe vage Lhere appeared Lo be no work or schoo Lo go Lo. In Lhe monLhs LhaL
foowed, many peope reLurned Lo PorL HarcourL. In oLher cases, parenLs wenL back Lo Lhe
vage whe Lher chdren remaned n PorL HarcourL. Many boys from N|emanze became
sLreeL chdren and seep under a fyover n Lhe cLy, whe Lhe grs and young women shared
rooms n Abonnema wharf wLh up Lo sx peope.

!"#$%"&' )*%+$, -."+/"*0 *1 23*00$4& 56&%1 5&/$%1%*0/' 78&+9 &0, :*;<

240$=/> ?0/$%0&/"*0&@ AB@> CDEC ?0,$F' AFR 44/034/20T2 T4
AmnesLy InLernaLona s parLcuary concerned LhaL Lhe pooresL women and grs who were
affecLed by Lhe demoLons n N|emanze have been pushed deeper nLo poverLy. In 0cLober
20TT, AmnesLy InLernaLona nLervewed over LhrLy young women aged beLween T7 and 28
who used Lo ve wLh Lher parenLs n N|emanze, worked Lhere and Lhe ma|orLy wenL Lo
schoo. The demoLon of N|emanze dsrupLed Lher ves and exposed Lhem Lo oLher human
rghLs abuses. AfLer Lhe demoLon, Lhey moved Lo Abonnema wharf and Look over Lhe
responsbLy of Lakng care of Lhemseves, Lher parenLs and sbngs. A women nLervewed
descrbed Lhe ack of access Lo adequaLe housng, educaLon, proper heaLhcare, securLy and
securLy of Lenure as Lher ma|or probems.
A women sad fe goL much harder foowng Lhe demoLons. They had Lo engage n
commerca sex work as Lhey were unabe Lo fnd any aLernaLve ncome. Many of Lhem
became snge moLhers responsbe for Lher young chdren.
0ne woman descrbed Lhe dfference beLween her fe pror Lo and afLer Lhe demoLon of
N|emanze. "Beng abe Lo pck perwnke fe was beLLer. If I was hungry, I coud se
perwnkes. And cook food. Aso I had a garden wLh eaves. Now fe s so hard, f you geL
N500 Lhe LLe you gan s noL enough, Lo feed Lhe chdren. If you go Lo N|emanze now,
peope w aLLack you. The swamp s n Lhe bush lLhe pace where Lhey used Lo go Lo pck
perwnkes has now grown nLo bush) some of my frends were aLLacked and goL osL, some
raped and ked. AnoLher woman sad. "I dd noL go Lo husLe ldo sex work) n N|emanze.
My broLher fed me and Look care of me. Lfe was easy buL now fe s hard for me. Now I have
Lo Lake care of mysef and Lhe chd. I go ouL amosL every day uness I am sck.
These women were aso more aL rsk of beng LargeLs of oLher human rghLs abuses, such as
sexua voence and arbLrary arresL by Lhe poce. A sevenLeen year od gr expaned whaL
happened when she or one of Lhe oLher commerca sex workers were arresLed. "The poce
seep wLh women. Lhey w carry peope Lo Lhe LoeL and rape Lhem Lhere. If you go empLy-
handed, Lhey` seep wLh you. If you have a phone, Lhey w eave you and Lake your phone.
A 20 year od woman confrmed. "Some of Lhem, Lhe senor poce offcers, wanL Lo seep
wLh us before Lhey agree Lo ba us. Two poce offcers sepL wLh me. They Lake you Lo a
LLe house and e on Lhe ground.
A T9 year od woman descrbed how Lhe sex workers aso experence sexua voence n Lhe
communLy. "The bggesL probem s Lhe rapng. They lLhe rapsLs) aways cover Lher face.
They knock on Lhe door or Lhey break nLo Lhe house. lIL happened) Lwo Lmes n Lhree
monLhs, Lhere s no body Lo reporL L Lo.
Rvers SLaLe 0overnmenL has faed Lo puL n pace mechansms Lo ensure women are noL
dsproporLonaLey mpacLed by Lhe demoLons. Moreover, Lhere are no cear ndcaLons LhaL
women`s specfc needs were addressed durng Lhe mLed consuLaLon process.
AmnesLy InLernaLona s exLremey concerned LhaL Lhe forced evcLon of Abonnema wharf
w push even more women nLo poverLy. Moreover, L s aso more dffcuL for women who
have been douby forcby evcLed Lo fnd beLLer ways of vng.
The sLores of a Lhese women demonsLraLe Lhe mpacLs and compeLe ack of remedes for
"#$%&#'( )*&+%, -.#+/#*0 *1 23*00%4' 56'&1 5'/%&1&*0/( 78'+9 '0, :*;<

=0,%>( AFR 44/034/20T2 240%?/@ =0/%&0'/#*0'A BCA@ DEFD T5
women foowng forced evcLons. They sLrongy caed on Lhe Rvers SLaLe 0overnmenL Lo
asssL Lhem, as one puL L. "I wanL Lhe governmenL Lo hep us Lo succeed. we are Lhe eaders
of Lomorrow. I wanL Lo go Lo schoo so we can geL our rghLs. They shoud hep us, noL
demosh Lhey have sad L. we don`L have any money Lo pack Lo anywhere.

"#$%&'(%" )*% +,"#-#(. /%*-&$$

In 2009, Lhe Ngeran non governmenLa organzaLons Soca and Economc RghLs AcLon
CenLre (SERAC) fed Lhe case of Jm 0eorge & 0Lhers vs. The ExecuLve 0overnor of Rvers
SLaLe & 0Lhers (SuL No. PHC/2286/2009).

In November 20TT, a Rvers SLaLe Hgh CourL ssued an nLerm n|uncLon agansL Lhe Rvers
SLaLe auLhorLes, prohbLng Lhem from evcLng and demoshng homes, busnesses,
churches and schoos of Abonnema wharf CommunLy resdenLs n PorL HarcourL, pendng
fu hearng of Lhe case.

In reacLon, Lhe governmenL fed a counLer moLon, askng Lhe courL Lo seL asde Lhe nLerm
n|uncLon. AfLer severa ad|ournmenLs Lhe courL was Lo rue on 2 Juy 20T2. RS0 however,
gnored Lhe nLerm n|uncLon, ddn`L waL for Lhe rung, buL wenL ahead and demoshed
Abonnema wharf.

AL Lhe courL hearng on 2 Juy and 3 Juy, Lhe case was ad|ourned Lo 25 SepLember 20T2 for
a fu hearng on Lhe counLer moLon fed by Lhe awyers represenLng Lhe governmenL.

0n severa oLher occasons RS0 has showed dsregard for courL orders and Lhe |udca
process. For exampe, n February 2009, mmedaLey before Lhe demoLon of Lhe budngs
aong Abonnema wharf road, a noLce of consequence of dsobedence Lo courL order was
served on Lhe Commssoner for Urban DeveopmenL. DaLed 2 February 2009, L warned.
"Take noLce LhaL uness you obey Lhe drecLons conLaned n Lhs order you w be guLy of
conLempL of courL and w be abe Lo be commLLed Lo prson. The budngs were
demoshed beLween 9 and T3 February 2009.

In a separaLe case on 30 Juy 2009, waLerfronL communLy eaders fed a suL n Lhe Federa
Hgh CourL (PHC/CS/T3609/2009) seekng "an order of perpeLua n|uncLon on Lhe Rvers
SLaLe governmenL, prevenLng Lhem from demoshng Lhe waLerfronL seLLemenLs. 0n T4
AugusL, Lhe case was ad|ourned Lo T3 0cLober 2009, and Lhe courL advsed a parLes Lo
"manLan sLaLus quo anLe
. 0n 28 AugusL 2009, N|emanze waLerfronL was demoshed. 0n
T2 0cLober 2009, Lhe day before Lhe frsL hearng of Lhe case was schedued Lo Lake pace,
securLy forces opened fre on peope proLesLng agansL Lhe aLLempLed enumeraLon aL Bundu

0n 2 June 20T0, Lhe Federa Hgh CourL hed LhaL Lhey dd noL have |ursdcLon Lo deLermne Lhe case.
The communLy eaders fed an appea n Lhe CourL of Appea.

!"#$%"&' )*%+$, -."+/"*0 *1 23*00$4& 56&%1 5&/$%1%*0/' 78&+9 &0, :*;<

240$=/> ?0/$%0&/"*0&@ AB@> CDEC ?0,$F' AFR 44/034/20T2 T6


!"#$%# #%'()%*+' ,(-.(*/ +0#"1/0 #1223% 45+%# +0% )%$"3(+("*' (* 62"**%$4 704#5 8 901#')4: ;< =1*% ;>?;@


"They ddn`L nform anybody, and we are |usL ke LhaL. we don`L have anywhere Lo go. we
sepL here ln Lhe rubbe, asL nghL) n a Lhe ran yesLerday LhaL fe yesLerday, on Lop of a
Lhese chdren, a of Lhem. we are askng Lhem Lo gve us money, f Lhey gve us money we
w ook for a house, even f L s T room, we w ook for where Lo pack Lhese chdren Lo. we
are LenanLs, we are LenanLs, we are noL andords. lThe auLhorLes) sad LhaL Lhey woud pay
andords, noL LenanLs. I don`L know lwhere we w go). we are 5, pus my mum and my dad
LhaL s 7. we don`L have anywhere Lo go for now, we are |usL prayng LhaL 0od w send
somebody Lo come and hep us.Ths Lhng s |usL wckedness now, you`ve seen lponLng
around her) - a our Lhngs. we sepL here yesLerday. Look aL Lhs one, he has sepL here
lponLng aL a sx monLh od baby n her arms). No refund lof renL from Lhe andord), Lhey
ddn`L even pay our andord, a LenanL Lod AmnesLy InLernaLona.

TenanLs were enLrey excuded from Lhe process whch dd noL enLLe Lhem Lo receve any
compensaLon. In 0cLober 20TT, LenanLs n Abonnema wharf Lod AmnesLy InLernaLona Lhey
dd noL know where Lo go as Lhey coud noL afford Lhe renL beng asked esewhere n Lhe
waLerfronLs. 0ne woman sad. "The governor wanLs Lo demosh. we shoud Le hm noL Lo
"#$%&#'( )*&+%, -.#+/#*0 *1 23*00%4' 56'&1 5'/%&1&*0/( 78'+9 '0, :*;<

=0,%>( AFR 44/034/20T2 240%?/@ =0/%&0'/#*0'A BCA@ DEFD T7
desLroy here. There s nobody who can go Lo up and Lo pay Lhe renL. There s no work aL Lhe
vage for us. AnoLher woman sad. "In AugusL Lhey came Lo mark Lhe house. They wroLe on
Lhe wa and measured Lhe ground. They don`L gve us daLe, from now L can be anyLme. If
we don`L pay Lhe andord, Lhey ock our house and we have Lo go Lo geL Lhe money. The
andord s noL hepng. If we have a probem, Lhey w say, pack and go.
The RS0 camed Lo be underLakng a buy-ouL scheme, purchasng properLes n Lhe
waLerfronLs and payng owners a repacemenL vaue for Lhem, however, under Lhs scheme
LenanLs have no enLLemenLs and house owners who do noL wanL Lo se Lher properLes are
gven no aLernaLve.
The scheme, however, makes Lhe RS0 Lhe ega owner of Lhose properLes and, by defauL, Lhe
andord Lo any LenanLs sL vng Lhere. ConsequenLy Lhe RS0 s under a ega duLy under
Lhe Rvers SLaLe RenL ConLro and Recovery of Possesson of Premses EdcL No. 3 T984, Lo
serve on any LenanL a wrLLen noLce Lo quL and a courL order for possesson before Lhey can
be evcLed. RS0`s nsLrucLon Lo andords Lo sLop coecLng renL does noL negaLe RS0`s ega
obgaLons Lo Lhe LenanL once Lhey become andords. However, none of Lhe LenanLs receved
such a wrLLen noLce.
The compusory purchase of and and revocaLon of Lhe rghL of occupancy s ony permssbe
under Lhe Land Use AcL (T978), where L serves Lhe greaLer pubc nLeresL. The AcL provdes
for Lhe paymenL of compensaLon and, n Lhe case of resdenLa budngs, for Lhe opLon of
AmnesLy InLernaLona s parLcuary concerned abouL Lhe sLuaLon of LenanLs and Lher ack
of securLy of Lenure. CommuncaLons abouL Lhe demoLons and compensaLon process have
been amosL excusvey beLween Lhe governmenL and andords or properLy owners. TenanLs
have been many excuded. Accordng Lo a 2009 sLudy by Max Lock, LenanLs ouLnumber
andords by a raLo of fve Lo one (5.T).
The ack of compensaLon, aLernaLve
accommodaLon and asssLance wLh reocaLon for LenanLs means LhaL mosL w sLrugge Lo
fnd paces Lo sLay now Lher homes are demoshed.
0ne resdenL of Abonnema wharf who aso sepL n Lhe rubbe sad. "EveryLhng s gone. My
documenLs, my money. I`m n Lhese coLhes snce lLhey demoshed). we`re seepng Lhere, by
our house. Me, my wfe and my 3 chdren. My wfe s heavy lpregnanL). I`m Lryng Lo fnd
somewhere for Lhem Lo sLay. I` sLay here agan LonghL. Someone has a room n Eech Beach
lneghbourng waLerfronL), Ls 6000N a monLh buL you have Lo pay T year, 2 years n advance.
where do you geL 24 Lmes 6000!

The renL LhaL LenanLs had pad Lo andords Lo ve n Lhe now desLroyed budngs has noL
been refunded, despLe Lhe Commssoner for Urban DeveopmenL Leng AmnesLy
InLernaLona LhaL LenanLs who had pad renL ahead Lo andords woud be refunded from Lhe

Max Lock ConsuLancy, Ngera LmLed, PorL HarcourL waLerfronL Urban RegeneraLon Scopng SLudy,
December 2009.
N6000 =24, x 24 s T44,000N =576 aL a raLe of 249N Lo T as aL 6 Juy 20T2.
!"#$%"&' )*%+$, -."+/"*0 *1 23*00$4& 56&%1 5&/$%1%*0/' 78&+9 &0, :*;<

240$=/> ?0/$%0&/"*0&@ AB@> CDEC ?0,$F' AFR 44/034/20T2 T8
paymenL made Lo andords f Lhey can show documenLary evdence of paymenLs.

To secure renLa accommodaLon n oLher parLs of Lhe cLy, ncudng oLher waLerfronLs,
prospecLve LenanLs are ofLen requred Lo pay a deposL of one or even Lwo years` renL n
advance. Many LenanLs are Loo poor Lo arrange for Lhese deposLs and are Lherefore unabe Lo
fnd aLernaLve accommodaLon esewhere n Lhe cLy.
0ne LenanL who had been seepng ouLsde n Lhe rubbe of hs house wLh hs famy for 3
nghLs Lod AmnesLy InLernaLona. "I`ve ved here amosL T5 years, wLh my chdren and
wfe, Lhs one s 9, Lhe oLher one s 2 years. I no have money Lo go back, buL I have Lo fnd
sma money. we no geL where Lo go, LhaL`s why we sLay.

! #$% &' !#$''()* +,*-. /&0/ $' 0$1 $. 2,*0 /(-3(4 */ 0,( 5$))6'&0%7/ 4-*&'*8( /%/0()9 :$'4*% ; <6=% ;>?;@


"Now Lhey`re sayng we`ve goL Lo go buL we`ve goL so much, how can we pack a Lhs! A
resdenL Lod AmnesLy InLernaLona.

The Abonnema wharf resdenLs dd noL know Lher homes woud be demoshed unL Lhe
excavaLors arrved. They were noL gven Lme Lo coecL Lher beongngs and many peope osL
everyLhng. InLa sLaLemenLs by RS0 suggesLed LhaL ony Lhose budngs mpcaLed n Lhe
shooLng woud be demoshed. ConsequenLy, many peope vng n oLher areas of Lhe
"#$%&#'( )*&+%, -.#+/#*0 *1 23*00%4' 56'&1 5'/%&1&*0/( 78'+9 '0, :*;<

=0,%>( AFR 44/034/20T2 240%?/@ =0/%&0'/#*0'A BCA@ DEFD T9
communLy dd noL Lhnk LhaL Lher houses woud be affecLed and dd noL aLLempL Lo pack
Lher beongngs unL L was Loo aLe. Jm 0eorge expaned. "IL was aL around 6 n Lhe
evenng lof Frday 29 June) LhaL Lhey lLhe excavaLor) now Lurned around and Lhey have now
come n lLo Lhe resL of Lhe communLy). And LhaL s where peope sLarLed panckng. Packng
Lher Lhngs. The demoLons conLnued unL 2 Juy, when Lhe enLre communLy was razed.
AnoLher andord and Lrader sad. "They Lake us as Lher enemy, so Lhey don`L serve us any
paper Lo come and coecL anyLhng. I have up Lo T0 rooms... No noLce. I lmanaged Lo save
some Lhngs) buL penLy of Lhem were desLroyed. ... 0n wednesday l27 June) Lhey dd noL
reach my pace. So on Thursday l28 June) we have Lo pack, Lhey were very fasL, so we ony
pck Lhe ones we can carry and eave Lhe resL.

! #$%&'% %'()*'+, )+ !-$++'&. /0.%# '12%'(()+3 .+3'% ., ,0' *'&$4),)$+( $+ *.5 67 /'*+'(*.5 89 :;+' 8<68=

AfLer Lhe forced evcLon of resdenLs n N|emanze, Lhe Rvers SLaLe governmenL mproved
Lher engagemenL wLh andords of Abonnema wharf. 0n T7 May 20T2 RS0 convened a
meeLng Lo nform Abonnema wharf resdenLs abouL Lhe compensaLon process and Lhe
panned demoLon afLerwards, Lhey aso broadcasL Lhs nformaLon over Lhe rado. Ths was
n addLon Lo oLher consuLaLon sessons hed n 0cLober 20TT and March 20T2. RS0
auLhorLes announced LhaL house demoLons woud noL Lake pace unL a andords were
compensaLed and any queres were resoved, and resdenLs gven noLce Lo reocaLe.
Accordng Lo rado announcemenLs by RS0, one monLh`s noLce woud be gven afLer
compeLon of Lhe compensaLon process. In June 20T2, Lhe governmenL sLarLed payng
compensaLon Lo andords n Lhe communLy.
The UN CommLLee on Economc, Soca and CuLura RghLs has sLaLed LhaL adequaLe and
!"#$%"&' )*%+$, -."+/"*0 *1 23*00$4& 56&%1 5&/$%1%*0/' 78&+9 &0, :*;<

240$=/> ?0/$%0&/"*0&@ AB@> CDEC ?0,$F' AFR 44/034/20T2 20
reasonabe noLce musL be provded Lo a affecLed peope pror Lo Lhe schedued daLe of
The UN Basc Prncpes and 0udenes on DeveopmenL-based EvcLons and
DspacemenL ('Lhe UN 0udenes`) as deveoped by Lhe UN Speca RapporLeur on adequaLe
housng, refecL exsLng sLandards and |ursprudence on Lhe ssue of forced evcLon. They
ncude deLaed gudance on Lhe sLeps LhaL shoud be Laken pror Lo, durng and foowng
evcLons n order Lo ensure compance wLh reevanL prncpes of nLernaLona human rghLs
aw. The 0udenes provde LhaL "Due evcLon noLce shoud aow and enabe Lhose sub|ecL
Lo evcLon Lo Lake an nvenLory n order Lo assess Lhe vaues of Lher properLes, nvesLmenLs
and oLher maLera goods LhaL may be damaged. Those sub|ecL Lo evcLon shoud aso be
gven Lhe opporLunLy Lo assess and documenL non-moneLary osses Lo be compensaLed.
affecLed peope musL be served noLce, rrespecLve of Lher Lenure sLaLus.
The UN CommLLee on Economc, Soca and CuLura RghLs aso sLaLed LhaL "SLaLes sha
ensure pror Lo carryng ouL any evcLons, parLcuary Lhose nvovng arge groups, LhaL a
feasbe aLernaLves are expored n genune consuLaLon wLh Lhe affecLed persons.
Smary, Lhe UN 0udenes provde LhaL "SLaLes shoud expore fuy a possbe aLernaLves
Lo evcLons. A poLenLay affecLed groups and persons, ncudng women, ndgenous
peopes and persons wLh dsabLes, as we as oLhers workng on behaf of Lhe affecLed,
have Lhe rghL Lo reevanL nformaLon, fu consuLaLon and parLcpaLon LhroughouL Lhe
enLre process, and Lo propose aLernaLves LhaL auLhorLes shoud duy consder.

! #$ %&''())** &+ ,-&+&'(-. /&-(01 0+2 %31)3401 5(67)8. 9*+*401 %&''*+) $&: !. ;7* 5(67) )& <2*=30)*
>&38(+6. ?040: @A
8 Basc Prncpe 42, UN Basc Prncpes and 0udenes on DeveopmenL-based EvcLons and
DspacemenL, 2007.
9 UN CommLLee on Economc, Soca and CuLura RghLs, 0enera CommenL No. 7, The RghL Lo
AdequaLe Housng, para. T3.
T0 UN Basc Prncpes and 0udenes on DeveopmenL-based EvcLons and DspacemenL, 2007, para
"#$%&#'( )*&+%, -.#+/#*0 *1 23*00%4' 56'&1 5'/%&1&*0/( 78'+9 '0, :*;<

=0,%>( AFR 44/034/20T2 240%?/@ =0/%&0'/#*0'A BCA@ DEFD 2T


!"#$%$&'( *+,'-./0.12 0'3/+/ .1 45'11+,$ 60$(7 8 903(/*$: ;< =31+ ;>?;@


"Here was 63 rooms. They sad Lhey were gong Lo compensaLe us. They gave us a cheque,
yesLerday Frday l29 June), buL Lhe money was ower Lhen Lhe amounL nLay sad. .My
own area was vaued correcLy because I was baLLng Lhem. The fgure we saw nLay s no
onger whaL we see, a andord sad.

The compensaLon process was on-gong when RS0 underLook demoLon of Abonnema
wharf. MosL andords had noL receved compensaLon aL Lhe Lme of Lhe demoLon. Some
andords LhaL receved cheques durng Lhe demoLon Lod AmnesLy InLernaLona LhaL Lhe
amounL Lhey receved was consderaby ess Lhan whaL Lhey are owed or oughL Lo be pad
based on Lhe vauaLon of Lher properLes. And Lhere were sL severa ouLsLandng peLLons
from andords Lo Lhe Commsson.
The enumeraLon of sLrucLures n Abonnema wharf was underLaken prmary for vauaLon of
properLes n reaLon Lo Lhe proposed demoLon raLher Lhan assess mpacLs of evcLons on
a affecLed resdenLs. RS0`s enumeraLon faed Lo denLfy a affecLed peope as, once
agan, LenanLs were excuded from Lhe process.
!"#$%"&' )*%+$, -."+/"*0 *1 23*00$4& 56&%1 5&/$%1%*0/' 78&+9 &0, :*;<

240$=/> ?0/$%0&/"*0&@ AB@> CDEC ?0,$F' AFR 44/034/20T2 22
!"! $%&'(%(!)*)$"! "+ ),( -../ 0$1(02 2)*)( &,32$4*' &'*!!$!5 *!6
6(1('"&%(!) '*7

The Rvers SLaLe governmenL s bound by Lhe 2003 Rvers sLaLe Physca Pannng and
DeveopmenL Law No. 6 ("Law No 6) Lo provde safeguards for resdenLs of budngs and
sLrucLures when carryng ouL conLro, pannng and deveopmenL of and n Lhe sLaLe. The Law
No 6 deLas whaL needs Lo be n pace before a demoLon can Lake pace. However, Lhe aw
has noL been mpemenLed. None of Lhe bodes provded for n Lhe aw have been seL up.
Had Lhe aw been mpemenLed and Lhe requred bodes esLabshed, communLes such as
Abonnema wharf waLerfronL woud have had Lhe opporLunLy Lo be decared an mprovemenL
area and en|oy Lhe safeguards and proLecLons LhaL L permLs.
The faure Lo foow Lhe safeguards and procedures n Law No. 6 means LhaL deveopmenL
work underLaken by RS0 s wLhouL ega backng, and consequenLy cannoL be n compance
wLh naLona or nLernaLona aw, n parLcuar Lhe InLernaLona CovenanL on Economc,
Soca and CuLura RghLs.

The Law No. 6, whch provdes for Lhe "conLro, pannng and deveopmenL of and n Lhe
sLaLe, esLabshes specfc bodes Lo oversee a maLLers affecLng physca pannng and
deveopmenL n Lhe sLaLe, ncudng pannng approvas, Lhe servng of enforcemenL noLces,
and Lhe demoLon of budngs and revocaLon of rghLs of occupancy.

Under Law No. 6, ony when Lhe sLrucLure s found Lo be "sLrucLuray defecLve, poses danger
or consLLuLes a nusance Lo Lhe occuper and Lhe pubc, L s specfed LhaL Lhe ConLro
deparLmenL may ssue a demoLon noLce.
If Lhe danger Lo resdenLs from vng n a sLrucLure s so greaL LhaL Lhey need Lo be moved as
a maLLer of urgency, Lhey shoud mmedaLey be provded wLh adequaLe aLernaLve
In addLon, Lhe RS0 has noL expored a possbe aLernaLves Lo demoLon provded for
under Law No. 6. The Law No. 6 provdes for severa possbe aLernaLves Lo demoLon.
sLrucLures ackng Lhe requred deveopmenL permLs may aso be aLered or vared. The
DeveopmenL ConLro DeparLmenL, had L been esLabshed, woud have had a range of opLons
n deang wLh Lhe conLro of sLrucLures erecLed wLhouL deveopmenL permLs, ncudng Lhe
opLon Lo reguarse Lhem and Lo granL deveopmenL permLs.
SecLons 84-90 of Lhe 2003 Law ca for esLabshmenL of an Urban Renewa Board Lo

TT UN CommLLee on Economc, Soca and CuLura RghLs, 0enera CommenL No. 7, The RghL Lo AdequaLe Housng,
para. T4.
T2 These bodes ncude. Lhe Rvers SLaLe Urban and Regona Pannng Board, Lhe Loca Pannng AuLhorLy, a
DeveopmenL ConLro DeparLmenL (whch s "charged wLh Lhe responsbLy for maLLers reaLng Lo conLro of Physca
DeveopmenL Pans, ncudng Lhe power Lo ssue sLop work orders, enforcemenL noLces, and demoLon noLces Lo
unauLhorsed deveopmenLs), Lhe Urban and Regona Pannng Fund, and Lhe Urban and Regona Pannng Trbuna
(whch s responsbe Lo nvesLgaLe and ad|udcaLe on Lhe same maLLers).
"#$%&#'( )*&+%, -.#+/#*0 *1 23*00%4' 56'&1 5'/%&1&*0/( 78'+9 '0, :*;<

=0,%>( AFR 44/034/20T2 240%?/@ =0/%&0'/#*0'A BCA@ DEFD 23
oversee a urban pannng and deveopmenL n Lhe sLaLe, wLh Lhe power Lo decare an area
an "mprovemenL area. The aw makes provson for key safeguards for a occupanLs,
owners, andords !"# LenanLs, n Lhe upgradng or deveopmenL of "mprovemenL areas,
ncudng parLcpaLon, nformaLon, consuLaLon and a communLy drven approach.
FurLhermore, Lhe aw ceary ouLnes Lhe due process requremenLs f a budng wLhn Lhe
mprovemenL areas s Lo be demoshed, repared or renovaLed (secLon 98) and provdes for
Lhe provson of aLernaLve accommodaLon, and and/or fnanca asssLance.

!"#$%&'( *++&#"%, +%*- '." /01 ,$2"%3&,&45 '." 67*44"-8 9.8%+ :"-*;&'&*4,< 9":4",:8( => /$4" =?@=A


Forced evcLons voaLe a range of naLona and nLernaLona human rghLs obgaLons, n
parLcuar Lhe rghL Lo adequaLe housng. Ngera s obged Lo guaranLee adequaLe housng
and Lo refran from and prevenL forced evcLons.
! !! ! SecLon T6 (2) (d) of Lhe Ngeran ConsLLuLon, drecLs Lhe sLaLe Lo ensure LhaL suLabe,
adequaLe sheLer s provded for a cLzens.
! !! ! The Afrcan Commsson on Human and Peopes` RghLs has aso affrmed n Lhe case of
SERAC and Lhe CenLre for Economc and Soca RghLs LhaL forced evcLons conLravene Lhe
Afrcan CharLer on Human and Peope`s RghLs Lo whch Ngera s a parLy, n parLcuar,
ArLces T4 and T6 on Lhe rghL Lo properLy and Lhe rghL Lo heaLh, and ArLce T8 (T) on Lhe
sLaLe`s duLy Lo proLecL Lhe famy.
!"#$%"&' )*%+$, -."+/"*0 *1 23*00$4& 56&%1 5&/$%1%*0/' 78&+9 &0, :*;<

240$=/> ?0/$%0&/"*0&@ AB@> CDEC ?0,$F' AFR 44/034/20T2 24
! !! ! ArLce TT (T) of Lhe InLernaLona CovenanL on Economc Soca and CuLura RghLs
sLaLes. "The SLaLes ParLes Lo Lhe presenL CovenanL recognze Lhe rghL of everyone Lo an
adequaLe sLandard of vng for hmsef and hs famy, ncudng adequaLe food, coLhng and
housng, and Lo Lhe conLnuous mprovemenL of vng condLons. The SLaLes ParLes w Lake
appropraLe sLeps Lo ensure Lhe reazaLon of Lhs rghL, recognzng Lo Lhs effecL Lhe
essenLa mporLance of nLernaLona co-operaLon based on free consenL.
! !! ! ArLce 27(3) of Lhe ConvenLon on Lhe RghLs of Lhe Chd obges sLaLe parLes Lo. "Lake
appropraLe measures Lo asssL parenLs and oLhers responsbe for Lhe chd Lo mpemenL Lhs
rghL and sha n case of need provde maLera asssLance and supporL programmes,
parLcuary wLh regard Lo nuLrLon, coLhng and housng. ArLce 4 of Lhe ConvenLon
specfes LhaL "SLaLes ParLes sha underLake a appropraLe egsaLve, admnsLraLve, and
oLher measures for Lhe mpemenLaLon of Lhe rghLs recognzed n Lhe presenL ConvenLon.
wLh regard Lo economc, soca and cuLura rghLs, SLaLes ParLes sha underLake such
measures Lo Lhe maxmum exLenL of Lher avaabe resources and, where needed, wLhn Lhe
framework of nLernaLona co-operaLon.
! !! ! ArLce 5 (e) () of Lhe InLernaLona ConvenLon on Lhe EmnaLon of A Forms of
Raca DscrmnaLon guaranLees Lhe rghL Lo housng.
! !! ! Under ArLce T7 of Lhe InLernaLona CovenanL on Cv and PoLca RghLs (ICCPR),
forced evcLons aso voaLe Lhe rghL Lo Lhe proLecLon of Lhe aw agansL arbLrary or unawfu
nLerference wLh a person`s prvacy, famy or home.
! !! ! The UN Basc Prncpes and 0udenes on DeveopmenL-based EvcLons and
DspacemenL (Basc Prncpes), as deveoped by Lhe UN Speca RapporLeur on adequaLe
housng, refecL exsLng sLandards and |ursprudence on Lhe ssue of forced evcLon. They
ncude deLaed gudance on Lhe sLeps LhaL shoud be Laken pror Lo, durng and foowng
evcLons n order Lo ensure compance wLh reevanL prncpes of nLernaLona human rghLs
! !! ! The UN CommLLee on Economc, Soca and CuLura RghLs has emphaszed LhaL "Lhe
rghL Lo housng shoud noL be nLerpreLed n a narrow or resLrcLve sense whch equaLes L
wLh, for exampe, Lhe sheLer provded by merey havng a roof over one`s head, or whch
vews sheLer excusvey as a commodLy. RaLher L shoud be seen as Lhe rghL Lo ve
somewhere n securLy, peace and dgnLy. The CommLLee has denLfed seven eemenLs Lo
deLermne Lhe adequacy of housng. T) ega securLy of Lenure, 2) avaabLy of servces,
maLeras, facLes and nfrasLrucLure, 3) ocaLon, 4) habLabLy, 5) affordabLy, 6)
accessbLy, and 7) cuLura adequacy. IL has aso sLaLed LhaL "NoLwLhsLandng Lhe Lype of
Lenure, a persons shoud possess a degree of securLy of Lenure whch guaranLees ega
proLecLon agansL forced evcLon, harassmenL and oLher LhreaLs. SLaLes parLes shoud
consequenLy Lake mmedaLe measures amed aL conferrng ega securLy of Lenure upon
Lhose persons and househods currenLy ackng such proLecLon, n genune consuLaLon wLh
affecLed persons and groups.
The UN CommLLee agansL TorLure has expressed concern abouL house demoLons whch
may, n cerLan nsLances, amounL Lo crue, nhuman or degradng LreaLmenL or punshmenL,
"#$%&#'( )*&+%, -.#+/#*0 *1 23*00%4' 56'&1 5'/%&1&*0/( 78'+9 '0, :*;<

=0,%>( AFR 44/034/20T2 240%?/@ =0/%&0'/#*0'A BCA@ DEFD 25
n voaLon of ArLce T6 of Lhe ConvenLon agansL TorLure and 0Lher Crue, Inhuman or
Degradng TreaLmenL or PunshmenL.

AmnesLy InLernaLona

!"#$$%&' )*'+,- $#. ' /%' #, +0""1% ',2%+ ,34% 5'6/ #, 5%&#1323#$/ 3$ 2*% 7#&&0$326 8 90$5'6 : ;016 <=:<>
!"#$%"&' )*%+$, -."+/"*0 *1 23*00$4& 56&%1 5&/$%1%*0/' 78&+9 &0, :*;<

240$=/> ?0/$%0&/"*0&@ AB@> CDEC ?0,$F' AFR 44/034/20T2 26

The Abonnema wharf demoLon consLLuLes a forced evcLon and s Lherefore a voaLon of
human rghLs. AmnesLy InLernaLona s parLcuary concerned LhaL Lhs s Lhe second ma|or
forced evcLon underLaken by Lhe governmenL n Lhe waLerfronLs area and LhaL oLher
communLes n Lhe waLerfronLs may be sub|ecLed Lo smar human rghLs voaLons.
AmnesLy InLernaLona Lherefore urges Lhe Rvers SLaLe governmenL Lo cease a forced
evcLons mmedaLey and Lo adopL a moraLorum on a mass evcLons and demoLons n Lhe
sLaLe unL a ega and procedura proLecLons requred under nLernaLona human rghLs aw
and sLandards are n pace, n parLcuar Lhe requremenLs on consuLaLon, adequaLe noLce,
ega remedes and adequaLe aLernaLve housng.
In parLcuar, AmnesLy InLernaLona urges RS0 Lo.
! !! ! Provde effecLve remedes ncudng mmedaLe aLernaLve adequaLe housng Lo a Lhose
who were forcby evcLed from Abonnema wharf durng Lhe demoLons beLween 27 June
and 2 Juy 20T2 and fu compensaLon for any oss of properLy and possessons LhaL were
damaged n Lhe process.
! !! ! Provde emergency reef, ncudng access Lo food, sheLer, waLer, sanLaLon and heaLh
care servces Lo a Lhose affecLed by Lhe demoLons n Abonnema wharf.
! !! ! Ensure LhaL women have equa access Lo a measures concernng compensaLon and
provson of adequaLe housng.
! !! ! AdopL a moraLorum on a evcLons and demoLons n Lhe waLerfronL areas, unL
adequaLe safeguards are puL n pace Lo ensure LhaL a evcLons compy wLh nLernaLona
human rghLs sLandards.
! !! ! Comprehensvey revew Lhe roe of poce and JTF n asssLng demoLons, evcLons,
enumeraLons and ensure securLy personne are noL depoyed Lo asssL Lhe admnsLraLve
auLhorLes n carryng ouL ega evcLons
! !! ! Do noL compe peope Lo se Lher houses Lo RS0 uness under Lhe reevanL provsons of
Lhe Land Use AcL (T978), whch provdes for Lhe paymenL of compensaLon and Lhe opLon of
reocaLon as sLpuaLed n Lhe AcL.
! !! ! Deveop a housng pocy whch proLecLs and fufs peope`s rghL Lo adequaLe housng
and endng forced evcLons, ncudng women`s rghLs. 0udenes for evcLon shoud be
based on Lhe UN Basc Prncpes and 0udenes on DeveopmenL-based EvcLons and
DspacemenL, and musL compy wLh nLernaLona human rghLs aw and sLandards.
! !! ! LegsaLe and enforce a cear prohbLon on forced evcLons.
! !! ! Fuy mpemenL Lhe Rvers SLaLe 2003 Physca Pannng and DeveopmenL Law No. 6,
by esLabshng a requred ega bodes Lo oversee pannng and deveopmenL n Lhe sLaLe.
"#$%&#'( )*&+%, -.#+/#*0 *1 23*00%4' 56'&1 5'/%&1&*0/( 78'+9 '0, :*;<

=0,%>( AFR 44/034/20T2 240%?/@ =0/%&0'/#*0'A BCA@ DEFD 27
! !! ! Provde LenanLs wLh reparaLons, whch ncude resLLuLon, compensaLon, rehabLaLon,
saLsfacLon and a guaranLee of non-repeLLon, adequaLe accommodaLon and asssLance wLh


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9/25/13 NHRC probes alleged rights violations in waterfront demolition 1/2
NHRC probes alleged rights violations in waterfront
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THE National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has visited Port Harcourt to investigate allegations of gross
human rights violations in the demolition of waterfronts by Rivers State government.
The Executive Secretary of the rights commission, Prof. Bem Angwe, who led the team, said the visit was to
enable them have first-hand information concerning the exercise.
Angwe, who visited the recently-demolished Abonnema Wharf shanty, told journalists that the commission had
received more than 200 petitions, mostly from overseas civil society organisations against the state
He said: We are here at the waterfront and we have seen that demolition had taken place. But apart from that
fact, we have also seen and noticed that in the first place, the place was not habitable. The environment we
have seen is not clean enough for Nigerians to live there. This means that their right to clean environment was
not protected.
He explained that the commission, which is legally mandated to protect the rights of every Nigerian, was still
investigating the petitions against the state government.
According to him, the commission was yet to understand whether the government took the appropriate steps it
was supposed to take before demolishing the Abonnema Wharf waterfront.
Governor Chibuike Amaechi had at the weekend based rival gang clash for the abrupt demolition of the slum.
He vowed to demolish several others so long as they remained abode for criminals in Port Harcourt.
Angwe, however, insisted that it was the responsibility of the state to provide shelter for the citizens.
We have received lots of complaints. In recent times, we have received more than 200 petitions from outside
the country in respect to this situation. All the complaints relate to the fact that people are denied their right to
shelter and that the action of the government amounts to forced eviction.
He said the commission would come out with a recommendation after its investigation in line with the
provisions of the National Human Rights Commission Act (as Amended) 2010.
He said under the aforementioned Act, the commission had been given full powers to take decisions that are
enforced as judgments of the High Court.
Exhibit G - NHRC Statements re: Abonnema
9/25/13 NHRC probes alleged rights violations in waterfront demolition 2/2
According to him, where government at any level took measures or administrative policies, the commission is
empowered to review such administrative measures or policies and recommend for their reversal.
Angwe stressed that government was bound to take the recommendations coming from the commission so
long as the issues bothered on human rights.
Though the demolitions had already taken place, he assured that the rights commission would ascertain if the
state took the necessary steps to protect the human rights of inhabitants of the waterfronts.
He said if people are living in a place and they have property and government wants to acquire the place for
purposes of demolition for the public interest, the government must take some steps that recognise the right of
the people concerned.
Angwe explained that the commission will not be biased in the discharge of its responsibility and assured the
people that their rights, where breached, will be redressed.
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Author of this article: From Kelvin Ebiri, Port Harcourt
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Exhibit H - Ruling of Amadi, J