The Centre for Public Accountability (CPA) has taken note, of the continued harassment, intimidation and rights violation, being perpetrated by a telecommunications infrastructure provider IHS, whose office is located on Idejo Street, Victoria Island in Lagos.
CPA in a statement issued by Ganzallo Gbenga said since locating its office, in the precinct of an exclusively residential area, the company has turned itself, to an overlord, over law abiding citizens of Lagos, many of whom have been resident in the said area for decades.
The group is particularly irked by the assault and harassment of one of the most senior citizens of our state, Dr Lanre Towry-Coker. “For the avoidance of doubt, Dr Towry-Coker is an elder statesman, an accomplished civil and public servant, who have meritoriously on several occasions, served Lagos State and Nigeria, in various capacities.”
The statement read; “Since arriving the neighborhood where this respected senior citizen of the state among few others are resident, IHS, have turned the otherwise peaceful community, to a chaotic environment, do to it’s unregulated activities, including illegally encroaching, into lands, belonging to other residents.”
The group said it’s appalling by the high level of impunity and victimisation of Dr Towry-Coker by IHS, who against existing building plans within the residential community, have resorted into building multi storey floors car park totally blocking his residence, a facility, plying not less than five hundred cars in and around his residence over the last 5 years.
“Dr Towry-Coker, is a known law abiding indigene of Lagos State who has been living peacefully on his property without any hindrance until IHS came to built the car park without conducting an Environmental Social Impact Assessment (EISA), the impact of the multi storey car park next to Towry Coker’s residence has continued to have grave negative impact on the senior citizen’s health.
“IHS have turned the whole area of private close and residential environs into a car and bus depot, with no less than 500 cars per day on the going in and out of the four storey car park, and spewing out harmful carbon monoxide into the air.
“This is apart from the noise level that their unruly armed security men, who even, trespass into the private close this senior citizen, almost on a daily basis.
“IHS have basically turned the residence and surrounding neighborhood, into a living hell for the occupants.
“IHS cares little or nothing for corporate governance and social responsibility and thinks it’s nothing to harass a Lagos senior citizen.
“All international organizations and even countries and individuals, are bound by what lawyers call, ‘duty of care’. And if they don’t exhibit it, or show ‘duty of care’, the result will understandably be chaos, anarchy and complete impunity leading inevitably to disaster of the type we’re witnessing right now in Ukraine.
“The world of 41 million innocent people in Ukraine has been shattered by the lack of ‘duty of care’ of a much bigger country, or entity called Russia, and no amount of excuses can condone the war crimes being perpetrated there as we speak.
“An extreme example maybe.
But what’s to stop IHS continuing with their impunity?
CPA deplored the harassment of Mr. Towry Coker, adding that it is the highest level of impunity that one could ever have expected from a corporate international organisation such as IHS.
“With this statement, we shall be putting the headquarters of the company in the United Kingdom, the government of the UK, Lagos State government, Security agencies and the civil society, on notice, as we shall employ every legitimate means, including protests and picketing, to end this modern day colonialist tendency and assault against our citizens, by these agents of imperialism and their local collaborators.
“We are asking the company headquarters in UK, immediately call it’s Nigeria office to order and immediately stop the harassment and intimidation of our senior citizen.”