The Lagos State Government, on Thursday, warned residents with land disputes against resorting to self-help by contracting land grabbers to perpetrate violence.
The State Commissioner for Justice and Attorney-General, Mr. Moyosore Onigbanjo, SAN, gave the warning at a stakeholders’ meeting organised by the State government in Ikorodu with the theme: “Land Grabbers, the Law, and Your rights”.
“The Court of Law is accessible by any aggrieved resident. All residents must learn to uphold the rule of law rather than resorting to self-help, which leads to the killing and maiming of people all in the name of land disputes. This will not be tolerated.”
The Commissioner, represented by Mr. Saheed Quadri, the Director Advisory Services, noted that the government enacted the State Property Protection Law to prohibit forceful entry and illegal occupation of landed property, as well as violent and fraudulent conduct in land matters.
The Coordinator of the Lagos State Special Taskforce on Land Grabbers, Mr. Owolabi Arole, said the use of land grabbers to perpetrate violence and killings over property has contributed to the stifled property development in the Ikorodu division.
A Muslim Cleric and Grand Imam of Oriwu Central Mosque in Ikorodu, Yaya Oshoala, in his contribution, indicted lawyers, police, and traditional leaders of complicity in violence emanating from land grabbing incidents in the area.
The Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Hakeem Odumosu, represented by the Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of Operations, Mr. Oladotun Odubona, said that land grabbing could not be done without the support of conspirators within.
He stated that the job of the Police is to arrest, investigate and prosecute, adding that anything done outside that is beyond the scope of Police work.
The representative of the Ikorodu branch of the NBA, Mr. Shakiru Omolaja, reiterated that Section 11 of the State Property Protection Law, 2016, prescribes 10 years imprisonment for anyone convicted of land grabbing and advised aggrieved parties to seek legal redress.