The Lagos State Special Task Force on Land Grabbers has arrested 19 suspects for alleged trespass, illegal occupation, forceful land takeover and prevention of lawful entry by violence.
It was learnt that the suspects were arrested by officials of the LSSTFLG, led by the Coordinator, Owolabi Arole, and police officers attached to the Lagos State Environmental and Special Offences (Enforcement) Unit in connection with a land on Plot 1, Block II, Ogudu Phase II Government Residential Scheme in the Kosofe Local Government Area of the state.
The state Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, who is also the Chairman of the Special Task Force, Moyo Onigbanjo, noted that the suspects had been handed over to the police for prosecution at the Lagos State Special Offences Court in Ikeja.
He said, “The arrest is the culmination of investigation carried out by the special task force on land grabbers after a petition was submitted by attorneys of Ade Bamtefa, the petitioner and claimant of the land.
“On receiving the petition, officials of the task force swung into action. Both parties were invited for a meeting to establish the veracity or otherwise of the petition. It was, however, discovered from our findings that the arrested persons resorted to self-help by not only trespassing on the land which had been cordoned off with a ‘Keep Off’ inscription pending the conclusion of an investigation, but also erecting structures on the land.
“This is unacceptable and contrary to some sections of the Property Protection Law, 2016. Government residential schemes are planned schemes documented under the law which ordinarily shouldn’t be subject to cases of land grabbing and illegal occupation.
“This current trend of having land grabbers encroaching on land under government schemes is unacceptable and will be treated seriously like other cases of land grabbing.”
Onigbanjo urged land and property owners in the state to perfect legal documents pertaining to their property, noting that it would check land grabbers and ensure easy administration of justice in the event that such property was encroached on.