The Lagos State government have issued strict warning to traditional rulers who connive with land grabbers – popularly known as Omoniles or Ajagungbales – to perpetuate the illicit activity.
In a documented statement signed by the state governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, it resolved to fully enforce the Properties Protection Law to end the menace of land grabbing in the state. The law prescribes up to 10 years jail term for persons who use force or intimidation to dispossess people of their property in any part of Lagos, thus Mr. Adeniji Kazeem, who is the state commissioner for Justice said the law would be enforced without respect to persons no matter highly placed.
He added that government is fully aware of how deeply involved the so called highly placed members in the society, traditional rulers, are sponsoring some of the land grabbers, hence, those guilty of forcefully collecting money for foundation, roofing and fencing would be subjected to instrumentality of the law, as was written in the documented law.
“The Properties Protection Law seeks to reduce to the barest minimum the activities of persons or corporate entities who use force and intimidation to dispossess or prevent any person or entity from acquiring legitimate interest and possession of property acquired through State Government or Private transactions.
“The law will ensure that special Task Force on Land Grabbers, set up by the Governor under under my office will work with all security agencies to ensure enforcement of State Government and Private property rights in the state, as well as ensure proper coordination of the efforts of the various agencies of government charged with enforcing the state government’s rights over land in Lagos.”
Further reading out the two sections of the law, the commissioner noted;
- 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.
- Section 2 (2) states that persons who have used force to take over the properties of others and still do so after three months from the date of commencement of the law commit an offence liable to ten (10) years imprisonment.