Wole Balogun, Ado-Ekiti
Ekiti State Government has commenced an enlightenment campaign on the provisions of the Property Protection (Anti-Land Grabbing) Law 2019 to ensure peaceful co-existence among residents.
Leading a sensitisation team to the palace of the Ewi of Ado Ekiti, the Deputy Governor, Bisi Egbeyemi, said the law would allow peace to reign in the state capital and other communities rocked by disputes over land sales.
A statement, yesterday, by Special Assistant (Media) to the deputy governor, Odunayo Ogunmola, revealed that Governor Kayode Fayemi signed the law on June 4, 2019 alongside seven others after they were passed by the fifth Assembly.
The Anti-Land Grabbing Law is aimed at curbing the activities of land grabbers locally known as ‘omo oniles’ and individuals, engaged in fraudulent sale, resale and forcible occupation of land while armed with charms and weapons.
Egbeyemi stressed that government would enforce the law to the letter, advising quarter chiefs, family heads and land owners to be truthful and carry stakeholders along while selling land to prospective developers.
The deputy governor expressed regrets that majority of cases in the law courts in the state emanated from issues relating to forcible acquisition and fraudulent sales of land to buyers.
Egbeyemi added that curbing the activities of land grabbers would give room for peace and progress and reduce litigations on land matters.
The deputy governor, who was an expert in land law and other matters charged Ekiti chiefs to take the enlightenment campaign to their families.
Egbeyemi clarified that under the land law, government recognises the family that owns the land, but has overriding power to hold the land in trust for the people.
The law, he said, provides that there must be a unanimous agreement by all those concerned with the involvement of principal members before a land could be sold.
Members of the Ewi-in-Council and quarters chiefs were enlightened by the Director of Drafting, Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Akaninyeme Akpan.
Akpan, while shedding light on the anti-land grabbing law, explained that Section 2 prohibits forceful acquisition or takeover of land with the offence carrying a penalty of four years imprisonment or a fine of N500,000.