LASG warns against use of land grabbers, violence in property disputes

Lagos State Government has warned residents involved in land disputes against resorting to self-help by employing land grabbers to perpetrate violence.

Commissioner for Justice and Attorney General of the state, Moyosore Onigbanjo, who gave the warning at a stakeholder meeting in Ikorodu, under the theme, ‘Land Grabbers, the Law and Your rights,’ said no one should resort to self-help. Represented by the Directory of Advisory Services in the ministry, Saheed Quadri, he said the state government enacted the land grabbing law to prohibit forceful entry and illegal occupation of landed properties, as well as violent and fraudulent conducts in relation to landed properties.

He accused some traditional leaders and community members of working as accomplices for land grabbers.

Coordinator of the state Special Taskforce on Land Grabbers, Owolabi Arole, stated that the use of land grabbers, perpetuation of violence and killings over properties have stifled development in Ikorodu; disclosing that out of 3,000 petitions received since its inception in 2016, most are from Ikorodu. Muslim cleric, Yaya Oshoala, accused lawyers, the Police and traditional leaders of complicity in violence involving land grabbing. He said land grabbers in Ikorodu should not be solely blamed for their illegal activities, adding that family elders and Baales (traditional chiefs) are involved due to their greed and selfish interests. “We rely on the Police, but they have let us down. These land grabbers bribe them with land and money to subvert justice.”

State Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, represented by Oladotun Odugbona, said land grabbing was not possible without the support of conspirators from within. He exonerated the Police of the allegation of conspiring with land grabbers, saying their job is to arrest, investigate and prosecute. Representative of the Ikorodu branch of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Shakiru Omolaja, reiterated that Section 11 of the Lagos State Property Protection Law, 2016, prescribes 10 years imprisonment for anyone convicted of land grabbing and advised disagreeing parties to seek legal redress.

Source : The Guardian