The Lagos State Environmental Enforcement and Special Offences Unit (Taskforce) says it has arrested six suspected land grabbing syndicate operating at Command Secondary School Ipaja, Lagos and its axis.
The Agency’s spokesman, Mr Gbadeyan Abdulraheem, confirmed the arrest in a statement on Tuesday in Lagos.
He identified those arrested as Adekola Shoderu, 50; Gbenga Oladipupo, 47; Philip Gabriel, 40; Fatai Yusuf, 43; Ibrahim Mustapha, 38, and Olanrewaju Ifetijesu.
Abdulraheem said that the suspects were arrested while allegedly trying to forcefully take possession of land spanning 12 hectres belonging to Lagos State Ministry of Housing.
He said the suspects had been known for perpetrating such criminal acts around the axis for a long time.
According to him, luck ran out on them when they allegedly tried to obtain money from the building contractors working on the site, who alerted the agency’s officials before their arrest.
“This set of land grabbers has been known to terrorise the Ipaja axis and we have been on their lookout for a while.
“The agency has said it times without number that there is no room for land grabbers or Omo-onile in Lagos and anyone still involved in the practice would be made to face the wrath of the law,” he said.
Abdulraheem said that the Lagos State Ministry of Housing was in Public Private Partnership (PPP) with Prosper Gardens Properties to build structures meant to better the lives of Lagos residents on the said land.
He said that the activities of the suspects impeded the flow of work on the site as a result of their constant threats with harmful weapons demanding for payment of the land from the contractors.
“The Lagos State Government is putting everything in place to actualise its mandate of improvement in physical infrastructure, housing and security.
“These suspected criminals try to undermine these efforts with their selfish actions.
“We will not condone it now or ever. That is why we are going all out to arrest and prosecute anyone involved in land grabbing activities,” he said.
The taskforce spokesperson enjoined residents of Lagos to report any suspected land grabbing person or group to the agency directly or through the social media channels.
He also urged them to desist from taking laws into their hands when such suspected individuals approach them concerning their property as two wrongs do not make a right.
“All such criminal or illegal activities should be reported to the agency or the nearest police station” Abdulraheem said adding that the suspects would be charged to court accordingly. (NAN)