Save us from land grabbers, residents cry out to Lagos govt

Residents of Victory Estate, Okota, Lagos State have called on Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, to rescue them from the frequent assault of land grabbers in their community.

According to them, land grabbers in Okota community have been making their lives miserable by forcefully ejecting them out of their homes and taking over their property.

This, they said, has rendered many of them homeless while others are on the verge of losing their property to them.
Speaking on the nefarious activities of land grabbers in his community, Afolabi Olasanmi said in spite of efforts by the Lagos State Government at curbing excesses of ‘Omo-Onile’ in the State, he said, they have continued to unleash terror on residents and forcefully taking over their property unabated.

He said, “It is as if we are in a lawless state, Omo-Onile wields absolute power. They sack residents from their property without any check on their activities. In my case, they came into our property located on Peter Akachukwu Street, wielding sticks and machetes and threatening to hurt anybody that put any resistance and requested I vacate it.

“Despite the fact that I have acquired all necessary documents from the Lagos State Government, they seemed less concerned about this. All they were concerned about it is to sell and resell the property to a countless number of people.

“We have had enough of their atrocious acts in Okota community which is why we are calling on the Lagos State Government to intervene and put them under check.

We cannot be sleeping with one eye opened. We are law-abiding citizens of Lagos State and we deserve to be protected against any form of oppression.”

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Another resident, Omolade Adesina alleged that possessing a Certificate of Occupancy to property did not stop the daredevil land grabbers from stealing properties.

She said, “On August 28, 2016, we were issued a Certificate of Occupancy by the Lagos State Government but sighting it did not in any way deter the land grabbers as they are bent on stealing and taken possession of our property.
However, with the frequent attacks from them, we petitioned the Lagos State Special Task Force on land grabbers but we are yet to get any meaningful response from them.”

Also narrating his ordeal, Cyril Oweifaghawari alleged inefficiency of Lagos State laws on law-grabbing and the Lagos state task force on land grabbers.

He stated that there are more than enough laws in Lagos State to confront the menace of land-grabbing noting that “the problem is implementing those laws. When my property was stolen by the Omo-oniles, I had to approach the Lagos High Court to recover it.

Graciously, Justice E.I. Alakija gave an order to take possession in 2019 and it was subsequently enforced by Lagos State police command.

But shortly after that, land grabbers returned and overpowered us. They drove us out of the property despite the court judgment. This tells you how daring they are. It’s almost two years, the task force has been unable to recover my property from them. I laboured to buy my property. I am therefore appealing to Governor Sanwo-Olu to come to our aid.

We want him to intervene and ensure justice is served. They need to stop land-grabbers from sending property owners in Lagos State to an early grave.”

Reacting Coordinator, Lagos State Task Force On Land grabbers, Mr Owolabi Arole said his committee has received lots of petition on the activities of land grabbers in Okota community.

He however assured property owners of Lagos State Government property noting that “We have gotten loads of petition from residents in Okota community which we have been working on. But for the Coronavirus pandemic, we would have visited the community. I am assuring Lagosians of Lagos state government preparedness to protect them and their property from the grip of land grabbers.”

 

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