Samuel Awoyinfa, Abeokuta
The Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, on Monday signed a bill into law which prescribes 25 years imprisonment or death sentence for anyone found guilty of land grabbing.
He signed the bill 34 days after the state House of Assembly passed it. The law criminalises land grabbing or forceful takeover of landed property in the state.
The bill was passed on October 11.
It is titled, “H.B. No. 03/2016 – A bill for a law to prohibit forcible entry and occupation of landed properties, violent and fraudulent conducts in relation to landed properties, armed robbery, kidnapping, cultism and allied matters and for other matters incidental thereto or connected therewith.”
According to the law, death sentence applies when a life is or lives are lost in such forceful takeover of land.
Kidnappers also risk life sentence.
Shortly after signing the bill into law, Amosun said the state would not be a comfort zone for criminals.
While he warned that the government would not compromise the prevailing peace and security in the state, the governor added that anyone that ran afoul of the law would be severely dealt with.
He said, “We want to let people know that Ogun State will not be a comfort zone for any criminal or so-called omo oniles (land grabbers). They have engaged in maiming, killing and lawlessness. But now, the law will go after them.
“We are now having an enabling law to prosecute, and anybody who runs afoul of this law, of course, will have himself or herself to blame.
“To the kidnappers, they know that this is their end. Anybody that involves himself in kidnapping, armed robbery and all these social vices will not be allowed in Ogun State. I want to believe that with the operation of this law, criminals will run away from the state.”
Amosun commended the state House of Assembly, the Ministry of Justice and other stakeholders for their contributions and speedy action on the law.
The state Commissioner of Police, Ahmed Iliyasu, who was also present at the event, said the command would enforce the law accordingly.
He said, “This is a clarion call to all criminals, armed robbers, kidnappers, cultists and so on, that there is no place for them in Ogun State. They should relocate because there is no room for them. We are ready to enforce the law.”
Meanwhile, the Organising Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party in the South-West, Mr. Fasiu Bakene, has commended the House of Assembly for passing the bill to control the activities of land speculators in the state.
Bakene, in a statement on Monday, said the law would boost the economy of the state.
“The confidence in all land issues will improve the economic base of the state in addition to the past administrations’ good performances on economic and industrial revolution,” he stated.
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