Lagos moves to tackle land grabbing, prohibits forceful entry, illegal occupation

Lagos moves to tackle land grabbing, prohibits forceful entry, illegal occupation

Pedro, top government officials and traditional rulers at the event.

Published By: Kazeem Ugbodaga

The Lagos State Government has vowed to tackle cases of land grabbing in the State even as it prohibited forceful entry and illegal occupation of landed properties.

The Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Lagos State, Lawal Pedro (SAN),who spoke at stakeholders’ meeting in Sangotedo, Eti-Osa, said the rise in cases of land grabbing is an issue of great concern to the State Government.

The evet was organised by the State Special Taskforce on Land Grabbers under the State Ministry of Justice. The stakeholders meeting has the theme: “Safeguarding Possessory Rights in Lands: The Role of Lagos State Special Taskforce on Land Grabbers.”

According to the Attorney General, the purpose of organizing the stakeholders’ meeting was to foster open dialogue, share information, experiences, and collectively identify solutions to the problems inherent in the activities of land grabbers.

“As part of the effort to address the issue of land grabbing in the state, the Lagos State Government enacted a law to prohibit forceful entry and illegal occupation of landed properties, as well as violent and fraudulent conducts in relation to landed properties in the State,” Pedro stated.

He said resolving land grabbing issues was of great importance to the Sanwo-Olu’s T.H.E.M.E.S PLUS Agenda.

Pedro stated that the menace of land grabbers has led to conflicts on lands in the State which has resulted in destruction of properties and even loss of lives.

“It is a fact that property transactions in Lagos State have been greatly hindered by the activities of the Omo-Onile and Ajagungbales,” he said.

Pedro emphasized that the law on land grabbing that was enacted in 2016 still stands regardless of one’s status in the society.

He explained some of the provisions of the Lagos State Property Protection Law, 2016 and in particular, Section 2(1) of the Law, which prohibits the use of force or self-help by anyone to take over any landed property or engaging in any act inconsistent with the proprietary rights of the owner of any landed property in Lagos.

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The Solicitor General and Permanent Secretary, Mrs. Titilayo Shitta-bey Jeje, noted that the gathering was of utmost importance which is to explore the role of the Taskforce in Safeguarding Possessory Rights in land within the State.

“The issue of land grabbing has been a persistent challenge in various parts of our state, causing unrest, stifling commercial activities, and disrupting the lives of Lagos residents,” she said.

Jeje stated that it is crucial for all hands to be on deck in shaping the policies and strategies that would curb land grabbing activities in the State.

The Director of Public Prosecutions and Guest speaker of the occasion, Dr. Babajide Martins, stated that since its inception, the Task Force had been actively engaged in addressing this menace, receiving and resolving numerous petitions.

“The Taskforce has received 7,500 petitions out of which 1,251 are frivolous, 4,283 disputes have been resolved, 205 land grabbers have been arrested, 60 cases are being prosecuted in various courts while 1,566 petitions are currently pending before the Task Force.

“However, our work is far from over. Challenges persist, and it is imperative that we come together as a community to find sustainable solutions” he said.

The Elejigbo of Langbasa, Oba Hafeez Olakunle Badiru, said that land grabbers for decades had constituted a threat to property acquisition in Lagos, saying that there has been alarming reports of land grabbing in the state.

Badiru implored the state government and the police to ensure immediate prosecution of identified land grabbers and their sponsors to serve as a deterrent to other citizens in the State.

The Coordinator, Lagos State Special Taskforce on Land Grabbers, Ms. Rukayat Shomade, expressed gratitude to the State Government and the Ministry of Justice for their immense support towards the agency and looked forward to future collaborations.

The post Lagos moves to tackle land grabbing, prohibits forceful entry, illegal occupation first appeared on Nigeria Newspapers Online.