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LAGOS: Ministry sensitises Epe, Ibeju communities on land grabbing, property protection law

THE Ministry of Justice has sensitised residents of Epe and Ibeju communities on the nefarious activities of land grabbers and the State Property Protection Law.

The Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, who is also the Chairman, State Special Taskforce on Land Grabbers, Moyosore Onigbanjo, SAN, speaking at a stakeholders’ meeting on land-grabbing held at Jata Hall, Ibeju, said the rising cases of land grabbing is an issue of a great concern to the state government.

“As part of efforts to address the issue of land-grabbing in the state, the state government enacted a law to prohibit the forceful entry and illegal occupation of landed property, as well as violent and fraudulent conducts in relation to landed property in the state,” Onigbanjo stated.

The Attorney-General, who was represented by the Director, Office of the Public Defender, Dr. Babajide Martins, observed that the menace of land grabbers has impacted negatively on the growth of the real estate industry and investment.

He said: “The state government is determined to resolve the land grabbing menace because property transactions in the state have now been greatly hindered by the activities of the Omo-Onile and Ajagungbales.”

Delivering a paper on the theme, “Land Grabbers, the Law and Your Rights”, the commissioner emphasised that the law on land grabbing, enacted in 2016, still stands regardless of one’s status in society.

He spoke extensively on some of the provisions of the State Property Protection Law, 2016, particularly Section 2(1) of the law, which prohibits the use of force or self-help by anyone to take over any landed property or engage in any act inconsistent with the proprietary rights of the owner of any landed property in the state.

In his contribution, the Oba Alara of Ilara Kingdom, Oba Olufolarin Ogunsanwo, said that land grabbers, for decades, have constituted a threat to property acquisition in the state, noting that there have been alarming reports of land grabbing in recent times.

While acknowledging the state government’s efforts at curbing the menace in the state, Oba Ogunsanwo stated that the community also has an important role to play in the ‘Greater Lagos’ initiative.

He, however, implored the present administration and the Police to ensure immediate prosecution of identified land grabbers and their sponsors to serve as a deterrent to others.

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