SOME members of Akesan community in Epe Local Government Area of Lagos State have called on Governor Akinwunmi Ambode to save the community from persistent encroachment and threat to lives by land grabbers.
Governor Ambode recently signed a bill into law outlawing land grabbing and extortion of money from land developers in the state.
The law prohibits forceful entry and illegal occupation of landed properties, violent and fraudulent conduct in relation to landed properties in Lagos State.
According to a statement issued and jointly signed by the Head of Iposu family, Professor Talabi Owolabi and the Secretary, Chief Alade Oladunjoye, some individuals have been encroaching on the land belonging to Iposu Chieftaincy family in the community.
According to the statement, the Oloja of Epe, Oba Kamoru Animashaun, has barred the land grabbers from encroaching on Akesan land but to no avail.
“Sometime in 2004, the illegal occupation of a portion of Iposu family land was identified. It was reported to the Divisional Police Officer (DPO), Epe, in a letter with ref: com/005/2004 and dated 7th May 2004.
“The Iposu Chieftaincy family is one of the most prominent families in Epe Division and it is an organised and law-abiding family. It abhors all forms of lawlessness and acts of vandalism which could tarnish the good name of the family and which is buttressed by our relentless efforts to employ persuasion and the law to advance our cause,” the statement read in part.
The statement further explained that as beneficiary owners of the parcel of land, the family has standing agreement as far back as 1971 with the Lagos State Ministry of Agriculture for the purpose of developing agriculture in Lagos State.
It said the family also has a long term lease agreement with Julius Berger Nigeria Ltd. and has a joint venture with Epe Health Farm and SPA Limited.
It, however, alleged that the land grabber led a team of hooligans armed with cudgels and other dangerous weapons to the community to remove signposts, deflate tyres of vehicles belonging to residents of the community in the presence of two police officers.
The family head, therefore, appealed to the Lagos State government to send its task force that is saddled with the responsibility of preventing unrest caused by land grabbers to the area.