By Adeola Oladele, Ibadan
The Oyo State Commissioner for lands, Housing and Survey, Mr. Isaac Omodewu, has made it known that the state government was ready to address the issue of forcible seizure of landed property across the state by the popular ‘Omo Onile’ with full force, saying that the offence attracts a minimum of fifteen years imprisonment or a fine of N500, 000 or both.
The commissioner made the disclosure on Thursday, during a ministerial press briefing, held at the state’s Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, which was attended by his counterpart in the ministry, Mr. Toye Arulogun.
The commissioner further stated that the any person, upon conviction for illegal entry into any construction site, demanding any fee or levy in respect of the construction activities is liable to a ten-year jail or a fine of N500, 000.
Omodewu, however, added that the administration of Governor Abiola Ajimobi initiated the law to protect the rights of property of owners against the nefarious activities of land merchants who willfully and violently seize people’s land.
The commissioner who pointed out that the state government has ensured the full implementation of the law, advised those bent on encroaching on other people’s property, most times, using violence, threats or imaginary connection with the powers that be to have a rethink.
In another development, Omodewu disclosed that over 1000 civil servants in the state have benefitted from the housing loan scheme of the state government, noting that over N1 billion had been disbursed to the beneficiaries of the housing loan scheme.
As part of the state’s government plan to ensure an increase in the socio-economic benefits accruing to the state, the commissioner hinted that government had begun the enumeration of lands and building within the state.
Omodewu explained that the enumerators have been inspecting and carrying out survey exercise of the land owners/occupants of the property without collecting from any individual or harassing them in any way.