Governor Akinwunmi Ambode on Monday fulfilled his pledge of making the menace of land grabbing in Lagos a thing of the past with the signing of the Lagos State Properties Protection Law. Governor Ambode also signed the Lagos State Neighbourhood Safety Corps Law, a move aimed at boosting security of lives and property in the state.
At the signing ceremony attended by the Speaker of the state assembly Chief Mudashiru Obasa, the Chief Judge of the State, Justice Olufunmilayo Atilade and other top government functionaries, Governor Ambode said the laws were central to his administration’s focus of safeguarding the lives of all residents, as well as attracting investments to the state.
“In addition to equipping our security agencies, we have now created a legal framework to put some form of communal protection in place to boost and support the great job the Nigeria Police is presently doing,” Governor Ambode said.
The Governor, who explained that the Neighbourhood Safety Corps would assist the police and other security agencies to maintain law and order across the communities, added that the Neighbourhood Safety Agency, which is a creation of the new law, would also be charged with the responsibility of registering all private home security and any other person employed for private home security amongst other things.
On the Properties Protection Law, Governor Ambode said the need for the law followed the fact that one of the issues that discouraged investors and hindered business in Lagos in the past had always been the menace of land grabbing.
He recalled that a lot of would-be property owners encountered untold harassment from exploitative land grabbers, adding that the law now marks the end of the road for such land grabbers.
“The Lagos State Properties Protection Law will give legal backing to the operations of our law enforcement officers. The main objective of this Law is to ensure that our investors, businessmen and the general populace carry on their legitimate land/property transactions without any hinderance or intimidation henceforth.
“The Properties Law will eliminate the activities of persons or corporate entities who use force and intimidation to dispossess or prevent any person or entity from acquiring legitimate interest and possession of property, ensure that the Special Task Force on Land-Grabbers work with all Security agencies to enforce private property rights in the state.” the Governor said.
Besides, Governor Ambode said the presence of the heads of the three arms of government - the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary, at the signing ceremony was a confirmation of the seriousness and resolve of government of Lagos State to address the issues once and for all.
On his part, the Speaker, Chief Obasa said the signing of the two laws was a clear and emphatic message to criminals that Lagos is a no go area for their activities.
Highlights of the Properties Protection Law include the reduction to barest minimum the activities of persons or corporate entities who use force and intimidation to dispossess or prevent any person or entity from acquiring legitimate interest and possession of property acquired through State Government or private transactions.
On the other hand, the Neighbourhood Safety Corps Law include, among others, the establishment of the Lagos State Neighbourhood Safety Agency for regulation and control of Neighbourhood Safety Corps activities.