Amid complaints by developers and prospective homeowners, the Lagos authorities have frowned at the illegal activities of land grabbers, otherwise known as Omo-Onile,  warning that anyone found using such to disturb public peace and illegally dispossess people of their property would be prosecuted in accordance with relevant criminal laws.
The Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Adeniji Kazeem, said this shortly after the state’s monthly Security Council Meeting. Kazeem said the state government was seriously concerned about the menace of land grabbing, especially as activities of land grabbers have escalated in recent times, and that it would no longer be tolerated henceforth.
Briefing journalists at the end of the meeting chaired by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode and attended by heads of security agencies in the state, Kazeem said the Council strongly condemned the disturbing menace of land grabbing and advised members of the public who are victims of such to gather enough evidence and forward same to the appropriate security agencies for prompt action.
He said: “Land is a very important asset in this state and the security of title is also very important and therefore, anybody who uses threat of arms or physical threat to disposes people of their legitimate property will be treated as criminals.
“Land grabbing can be civil and criminal once you use threat of arms and other physical threat to disposes people of their property and so what I will advice the public is that when you are faced with situation like this, do not physically engage these people. What you should do is to get details, video and any other information you can get on them, pass such information to the security agencies who will in turn pass them to the government and I assure you that my office will work round the clock to prosecute these people for crimes.
“It is criminal trespass when you seek to go on other people’s property that does not belong to you. So, this is a clear warning that the Lagos State Government will no longer tolerate these activities. It is going to be zero tolerance.”
Also speaking to reporters on the outcome of the meeting, the State Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni, said the Council majorly considered the need to build on the successes recorded so far with regard to providing safety and security for the people and also looked at the need to sustain and improve on measures that have so far been put in place which resulted in successes against crimes.
Owoseni said Governor Ambode specifically appreciated the people for providing useful information to security agencies and urged them not to relent in further supporting the government and indeed security agencies.
He said: “Let me reassure members of the public that the Lagos State Government and its security apparatus have all the wherewithal to hunt and look for anybody that comes to Lagos to engage in any criminal activities and let me place it on record that such criminals will be pursued to any nook and cranny that they may run to and they will be made to face the law of the land.
“In furtherance as well, the Council considered the need for us to also re-gig our efforts toward the Easter Celebration that is coming up and we also looked generally at the activities of hoodlums who had called themselves the land grabbers.”
Owoseni added that the police would work with relevant agencies to stop the activities of land grabbers and that the police was poised to go headlong to pursue the criminal elements in the state.