Culled from my book “Land Acquisition and Development Process: Omo Onile’s Perspectives” pages 27 and 28.
Land grabbing is the criminal and forceful possession of people’s land with the perpetrators of this crime being called land grabbers (Ajagungbale). Anyone who has ever come across these set of people will agree that they operate with all manner of deadly weapons and ammunition. They do not only forcefully take possession from land buyers but also ancestral land buyers (Omo Onile) especially when there is family rivalry and disagreement on such land.
To curb the menace of the activities of land-grabbers and unscrupulous elements among ancestral landowners, the Lagos State Government promulgated a law termed the Lagos State Property Protection Law in August 2016, and a similar version of it was passed into law by the Ogun Government in October 2017, named ” A Bill for a Law to prohibit Forceful Entry and Occupation of Landed Properties, Violent and Fraudulent conducts with respect to landed properties, Armed Robbery, Kidnapping, Cultism and Allied Matters and for other matters incidental thereto or connected therewith”
The section 2 of the Lagos State Property Protection Law prohibits act of force or self-help or engaging in any act inconsistent with the proprietary right of the owner to take over any landed property. The Ogun State version, on the hand, prescribes a 25-year imprisonment or death sentence. By contrast, a minimum of ten years’ imprisonment is prescribed by the Lagos State Government. The section 4 of the Lagos State Property Protection Law prescribes five to twelve years’ imprisonment and a fine of Five Million Naira for anyone occupying a property as an encroacher.
The section 8 of the law prescribes a conviction of a six month imprisonment and a fine of N500, 000 or both to a person who offers for sale any property, upon knowing full well that he has no lawful title to the property or authority of the owner. Also, it prescribes a conviction of five years’ imprisonment or a fine which exceeds 100% of the value of the property or both in case the person actually sells the property he has no lawful title or authority, or which has been previously sold by him”
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