THE Government of Ekiti state has commenced steps to prosecute and jail suspected land grabbers in the state who violates the new Anti Land Grabbing Law.
The new law was enacted to curb the excesses of land grabbers popularly known as “Omo Oniles,” who sell parcels of land to multiple buyers and also employ violence to forcibly acquire land from previous buyers.
Government said it took the step following series of complaints on what it called “unwholesome practices in transactions relating to landed property” since the enactment of Property Protection (Anti Land Grabbing) 2019.
To give more bite to the law, the state government, through the Ministry of Justice has set up Landed Properties Transaction Complaints Unit to receive petitions from aggrieved victims of land grab and related offences.
The Ekiti State Property Protection (Anti Land Grabbing) Law 2019 was signed into law by Governor Kayode Fayemi on 4th June, 2019.
The law, among others, prohibits illegal occupation of landed property.
It also criminalises fraudulent transactions in relation to landed property in the state among others.
According to a circular signed by the Solicitor General/Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Justice, Mr. Lawrence Babatope Ojo, the Unit was set up to receive formal complaints from victims of unlawful sale of land and illegal occupation of land and other matters connected wherewith.
According to the circular, the Ministry of Justice has been inundated with complaints of unwholesome practices in transactions relating to sale of landed properties since the enactment of the law.
It reads in part: “In response to these complaints, the Honourable Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice has set up Landed Properties Transaction Complaints Unit, to receive complaints from aggrieved persons who have been victims of unlawful sale of land, illegal occupation of land and related matters.
“Aggrieved persons are advised to forward their complaints in writing.