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CLO kicks against early closure of Lagos Estate gate to motorist, pedestrians

Abel Orebiyi Street
The Civil Liberties Organization (CLO), a human rights group in Lagos, has expressed concerns over early closure of the entrance gate into Abel Orebiyi Street, off Salvation Road, in Opebi, Ikeja, Lagos State, against motorists, at 8:00pm daily.

CLO contended  that such denies residents access through the gate, when there is no curfew or visible security threat, saying it is abuse of human right and personal liberty of the people.

 

Our investigation revealed that on closing the Abel Orebiyi Gate at 8:00pm, security guards direct motorists to use the gate of Ajanaku Street to get to their residence or destination.

 

Also, non-residents, including dispatch riders delivering courier services, are not allowed to enter the estate with their cars or motorbikes through Abel Orebiyi Street at any hour of the day. Guests who attended events in the estate were not excluded from the restrictions.

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They are all directed by the security guards to go through Ajanaku Street, which is about 120 meters away.

 

There has been latent discontentment among source residents affected by the early disclosure of the entrance gate. There were, however, divided opinions.

 

Speaking on condition of anonymity, some residents asserted that the early closure of the gate is a security measure in the interest of all residents.

 

Some others argued that the timing is too early, and should be reviewed at 12 midnight, as in other places. They added that it is affecting their businesses, mostly the restriction of non-residents, though people trekking have access.

 

However, at the gate, there is a public notice that the “estate is strictly residential and commercial activities are not allowed.”

 

Meanwhile, the Head of Legal Unit at CLO in Lagos, Princewill Akpakpan, acknowledging that security is very important, emphasized that security measures must take into consideration the peculiarity of the environment and the interest of the people.

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Akpakpan asserted that streets, like roads, are public space, not private. He contended that the public supersedes private concerns, noting that the restrictions would affect people’s business.

 

Akpakpan noted that Abel Orebiye Street and its environs is in Lagos metropolis, and is close to police formations around Ikeja, noting that rapid security responses are easily available in the metropolis.

 

He, therefore, declared that the closure of Abel Orebiye street gate at 8:00pm is a violation of the human rights and personal liberties of residents driving late.

 

Akpakpan pointed out that if residents of Ajanaku Street should close their gate at the same evening hours, how would car owners access Abel Orebiyi Street?

 

He advocated that the Residents association should be called into question, and that the police should order them to open the gate till 12 midnight.

 

Efforts to contact the resident’s association leadership were not successful at the time of this report.

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