The Lagos State Government on Monday warned traditional rulers and other highly-placed members of the society to be ready to lock horns with it if they involved themselves in land grabbing in the state.
The Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Adeniji Kazeem, said the government would fully enforce the Properties Protection Law recently signed into law by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode in order to deal decisively with anyone who forcefully disposed other people of their legitimate rights to land.
The commissioner added that forceful collection of money for foundation, roofing and fencing, among others, would no longer be allowed.
He said, “We are not oblivious of the fact that some of the land grabbers are being sponsored by highly-placed members of the society, including traditional rulers. But let me warn that anybody, who encourages or connives with Omo-Oniles or Ajagungbales (land grabbers) to perpetrate their illegal activities, will be made to face the full wrath of the law.
“The Properties Protection Law seeks to stop the activities of persons who use force and intimidation to dispossess or prevent others from acquiring legitimate interest and possession of property acquired through the government or private transactions.”
Adeniji said the Special Task Force on Land Grabbers set up by the governor would work with all security agencies to ensure enforcement of property rights in the state. Adeniji said, “Section 2 (1) states that as from the commencement of the law, no one shall use force or self-help to take over any landed property or engage in any act inconsistent with the proprietary right of the owner in the state.
“Furthermore, subsection 2 (2) states that persons, who have used force to take over the property of others and still do so after three months from the date of commencement of the law, commit an offence. Anyone, who commits such offence, is liable to 10 years’ imprisonment.
“Also, anyone without lawful authority, who applies threats or violence to secure entry into any landed property for personal use, commits an offence. Regardless of if the entry is lawful, it does not give a right to use threats or violence and anyone, who commits the offence, shall be liable to 10 years’ imprisonment.”