Nigeria forced evictions case before Inspection Panel

23 January 2014

Following an August 2013 report by Amnesty International and Nigerian NGO Social and Economic Rights Action Center on the forced evictions in the informal settlement of Badia East in the Nigerian city Lagos, a case was submitted to the World Bank’s accountability mechanism, the Inspection Panel (IP), in November by a civil society organisation based in Lagos on behalf of “individuals, families and groups living in the Badia area”. According to the IP case and the report, at least 266 homes and businesses in Badia East were demolished by the Lagos state government in February 2013. Badia East is a part of the larger Badia community, which is one of the nine settlements meant to benefit from the World Bank-funded Lagos Metropolitan Development and Governance Project (LMDGP) “to increase sustainable access to basic urban services in Lagos through carrying out of investments in critical infrastructure”. Less than a year earlier over 100 structures in Badia East were demolished to make way for a canal funded by the LMDGP. The IP submission claims the evictions were done “without prior consultation, notice, compensation or resettlement”, resulting in “further impoverishment”.

The case has not yet been formally registered with the IP as it has been selected as the first pilot of a proposed new procedure “to support early solutions”, which is under consultation (see Bulletin Dec 2013). The procedure aims to provide “an additional opportunity” for the parties to address concerns prior to the IP deciding on whether to register the case. However, a January submission to the consultation by 32 civil society organisations and individuals, including Uganda-based African Rivers Network and US-based Accountability Counsel, questioned the pilot: “It is unclear why management would engage requesters to resolve their concerns so soon after it failed to respond directly to requesters.” The IP is expected to review the Lagos case in February.