Human rights activists, operating under the banner of the Centre for Human and Socio-Economic Rights, have passionately appealed to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and security authorities to put an end to the reign of land grabbers that have plagued Lagos State.
During a joint news conference held on Monday in Lagos, the Centre for Human and Socio-Economic Rights and the Lawyers for Reform Group emphasised the need for Governor Sanwo-Olu, the Acting Inspector General of Police, Mr. Kayode Egbetokun, and concerned Nigerians to intervene and protect innocent people from the oppressive practices of land grabbers.
In their statement, which was jointly read by the President of the Centre for Human and Socio-Economic Rights, Mr. Alex Omotehinse, and Mr. Oladotun Hassan, the Executive Project Director of Lawyers for Reform Group, the activists brought attention to an alleged grand conspiracy aiming to forcibly dispossess Mr. Olufemi Fasehun of his property situated at 10, Kudirat Abiola Way, Oregun, Ikeja.
The activists contended that these land grabbers, with alleged support from certain state actors and security agents tasked with investigating the property, must be halted to prevent breaches of peace and threats to life.
In their plea, the activists stated, “We urgently demand the intervention of Governor Sanwo-Olu and Acting Inspector General of Police, Mr. Kayode Egbetokun, to expedite due diligence, investigation, and the prosecution of anyone found culpable, regardless of their stature, in a competent court of law.”
They continued, “We seek the support and efforts of all Nigerians to eradicate the menace of land grabbing in Lagos State, regardless of the guise used to justify the demolition of properties belonging to innocent Nigerian citizens.”
The activists urged the governor and the Inspector General of Police to swiftly assist the victim, who possesses valid land title documents for the property. They stressed the importance of securing respite for the victim and ensuring the peaceful habitation of his property. “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,” they added.
The activists went on to allege that some officers within the General Investigation Department of the Police Force Criminal Investigation Department (FCID) in Alagbon had colluded with the land grabbers to demolish and dispossess the victim of his property.
They stated, “The land grabbers, often referred to as vampire marauders, are now poised to inflict monumental havoc, capable of disturbing the peace and violating the fundamental rights of the affected victim.”
The victim had previously submitted a petition dated May 2 to the Assistant Inspector General of Police at FCID, Alagbon, Lagos, regarding the land grabbers who were repeatedly attacking his premises with the intention of forcibly invading and seizing the property.
In light of the ongoing threats posed by land grabbers, the activists called upon Governor Sanwo-Olu and the security apparatus to prioritise the well-being and security of ordinary citizens who are facing the loss of their properties under various pretexts in the state. They called for government intervention to address the persistent harassment, criminal trespass, willful and malicious destruction, and violent actions of land grabbers in different parts of the state.