Perturbed by the rate at which land grabbers in Lagos truncate people’s dream of becoming homeowners, Human rights activists, under the aegis of the Centre for Human and Socio-Economic Rights (CHSR) have enjoined Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and security agents to prioritise curbing the menace of land grabbing across Lagos State.
The group, highlighted the threats to public peace by land grabbers in Ojomu communities (Ajiranland) in Eti Osa, called for government’s intervention to stop incessant harassment, criminal trespass and violent activities by land grabbers.
Speaking at a press briefing recently in Lagos, the President of CHSR, Mr Alex Omotehinse, said the security and welfare of the people should be more paramount to Sanwo-Olu.
Omotehinse said, “We are deeply concerned by the continuous threats to public peace as a result of the unlawful activities of land grabbers in Ojomu community otherwise referred to AJIRAN LAND, in the Eti-Osa Local Government Area of Lagos State.
“Activities of land grabbers should be curtailed. The governor of Lagos State must rise up to the occasion to secure the people of the state and their property; that is the primary responsibility of a government.
“There is land grabbing all over Lagos, in Ikorodu, Epe, Lekki, Eti-Ota, Lekki, and Badagry axis. Government and law enforcement agencies are not acting as expected. For land grabbing to be a lucrative business in Lagos State, some state actors are involved.”
Omotehinse, also draw the attention of the general public’s to the situation and demanding immediate action from relevant authorities in Lagos State, as well as security agencies and other relevant institutions.
The press release reads: “Situation in Ojomu Community (AJIRAN LAND) and need for urgent intervention CHSR has received a number of complaints bordering on activities of land grabbers who overtime have become atrocious in Ojomu community otherwise known as AJIRALAND. The various petitions by concerned stakeholders regarding the worrisome activities of land grabbers in AJIRAN LAND have been extensively reviewed by Civil Society Groups under the platform of CHSR.
“These petition include those forwarded to the Nigeria Police as well as Ministries, Agencies and critical actors of Lagos State Government namely; (The Executive Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Chief of Staff to the Governor of Lagos State, Honourable Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Honourable Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, General Manager, Lagos State Building Control Agency, Coordinator, Lagos State Special Taskforce on Land Grabbers).
“Copies of these petitions made available to CHSR included a letter forwarded to the Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba on December 12, 2022 by OBA OF LAGOS, HIS ROYAL MAJESTY OBA RILWANU AKIOLU. The letter titled: REQUEST FOR SPECIAL URGENT INTERVENTION (REF: OOL/017/VOL.III/374 decried the alarming unlawful activities of land grabbers under the coordination of Mr. Ahmed Tajudeen and demanded the intervention of Nigeria Police in curbing the menace.
“Equally important to mention is the petition was forwarded to the Inspector General of Police earlier on December 8, 2022 from FADESERE & CO (legal practitioners) on behalf of HRM OBA AKINLOYE TIJANI SATERU II OF AJIRAN LAND and the BALOGUN OF AJIRAN LAND, ALHAJI YEKINI CHIEF OLAWALE BAKARE regarding harassment, hooliganism, threats to life and conducts likely to cause breach of public peace in the community.
“It is however unfortunate that no concrete action has been taken by both Lagos State Government and the Nigeria Police to put Mr. Ahmed Tajudeen and other land grabbers in check. Unlawful Activities of Land Grabbers in Ojomu community. These land grabbers led by one Mr. Ahmed Tajudeen engage in wanton harassment of rightful allottees and criminal trespass on legitimately acquired lands in flagrant violation of the extant laws of Lagos State.
“It is indeed alarming that the activities of Mr. Ahmed Tajudeen are in total disregard for the authority of the traditional institution of AJIRAN LAND vested in the office of Oba of AJIRAN LAND, His Royal Highness, OBA AKINLOYE TIJANI SATERU II.
“Under the coordination of Mr. Ahmed Tajudeen, these land grabbers circumvent legitimate land documentations that bear the seal of Lagos State Ministry of Lands and the Consent of the authority of Governor of Lagos State as provided for under the land acquisition procedures of Lagos State.
“More disturbing however is that the illegitimate activities of the said Mr. Ahmed Tajudeen are in blatant negation of existing valid agreements between land owners and the bonafide family in Ojomu community.”
“CHSR is concerned that the masterminds of the disturbance in Ojomu communities are acting contrary to the orders and authorities of AJIRAN LAND and the Lagos State Property Protection Law of 2016.
“Therefore, civil society stakeholders under the platform of CHSR hereby: 1. We demand that both the Lagos State Government and Nigeria Police should put an end to harassment of authentic allottees and rightful owners of lands in Ojomu community and by extension AJIRAN LAND. 2. Call out the Lagos State Government for failing to protect legitimate authority of traditional institution in AJIRAN LAND against the reckless insubordination of land grabbers. 3. We urge Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to reverse the ugly situation and restore the honour and pride deserved by the legally recognised custodians of culture and heritage of AJIRAN LAND. 4. We urge Governor Sanwo-Olu to investigate incidents relating to the threats to lives of HRM OBA AKINLOYE TIJANI SATERU II OF AJIRAN LAND, the BALOGUN OF AJIRAN LAND, ALHAJI YEKINI CHIEF OLAWALE BAKARE and members of their families which for the basis of the petition forwarded to the Inspector General of Police on December 8, 2022.
“. We demand that Lagos State Government should investigate allegations of forgery of DEED OF ASSIGNMENT and other land related documents duly authorised and signed with the authority of Ojumu family as well as Lagos State land documents.
“We demand that Lagos State Government should urgently investigate human rights abuses being perpetrated by land grabbers in Ojomu community including intimidation and ostracizing of certain sons of Ojomu community by Mr. Ahmed Tajudeen.
“We demand urgent and concrete action against unlawful activities of land grabbers in Ojomu community with the view to put an end to the menace forthwith. We urge Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to give immediate directives to relevant agencies to enforce the cessation of illegal activities of land grabbers in Ojomu community. We call on the Inspector General of Police to direct the Lagos State Command to ensure that the rights of innocent citizens are not trampled forthwith in Ojomu community in the interest of justice and peace.”