Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode on Monday signed into law the Lagos State Properties Protection Bill that recommends 10 years imprisonment for land grabbers across the state.
The governor also signed into law The Lagos State Neighbourhood Safety Corps Bill to assist the police and other security agencies within the State to maintain law and order across the communities.
Ambode signed the two bills into law on Monday at the State House, Ikeja, Lagos, Southwest Nigeria.
The governor said the Lagos State Properties Protection Law would give legal backing to the operations of law enforcement officers, saying that the main objective of the law was to ensure that investors, businessmen and the general populace carried on their legitimate land/property transactions without any hindrance or intimidation henceforth.
“The properties law will eliminate the activities of persons or corporate entities who use force and intimidation to dispossess or prevent any person or entity from acquiring legitimate interest and possession of property, ensure that the Special Task Force on Land-Grabbers work with all security agencies to ensure enforcement of State Government and Private property rights in the State, and ensure proper coordination of the efforts of the various agencies of government charged with enforcing the State Government’s rights over land in Lagos.
“One of the issues that discourages investors and hinders the ease of doing business in Lagos is the issue of land grabbing. A lot of our would-be property owners encounter untold harassment from exploitative land grabbers. This Law marks the end of the road for such land grabbers,” he said.
Ambode added that the Neighbourhood Safety Corps would assist the police and other security agencies within the State to maintain law and order across communities and also be charged with the responsibility of registering all private home security and any other person employed for private home security among other things.
Earlier, the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Adeniji Kazeem said the properties protection law sought to reduce to the bares minimum the activities of persons or corporate entities who used force and intimidation to dispossess or prevent any person or entity from acquiring legitimate interest and possession of property acquired through state government or private transaction.
On the Neigbourhood Safety Corps Law, Kazeem said the highlight of the law was the establishment of the Lagos State Neigbourhood Safety Agency for the regulation and control of Neigbourhood safety corps activities.
He added that the core objectives of the law were to establish a uniformed Neighbourhood Safety Corps in all Local Government Areas within the state; assist the police and other security agencies within the state to maintain law and order by gathering information about crime or suspicious activities to the police or security agencies.
“The agency will also ensure the protection of lives and properties in the state by rendering prompt assistance to accident victims; it will in conjunction with the police and security services disarm unauthorised persons in possession of dangerous weapons. It will also be charged with the responsibility of registering all private vigilante groups, private home security and any other person employed for private home security, among other things,” he said.