Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, monday ratified the state properties protection law, which prescribed a jail term of ten years for suspects guilty of land grabbing.
Also, the governor signed the state neighbourhood safety corps law, which according to him, would boost security of lives and property in all 20 local government areas and 37 local council development areas.
He signed the two laws at the State House, Alausa alongside Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, Chief Judge of the state, Justice Funmilayo Atilade and the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Adeniji Kazeem, among others.
Before signing them, Ambode said the laws were central “to our focus of safeguarding the lives of all residents, as well as attracting, growing investments and improving the ease of doing business in the state.”
He added that in addition to equipping all the security agencies in the state, the state government “have now created a legal framework to put some form of communal protection in place to boost and support the great job the police is presently doing.”
He said the safety corps would assist the police and other security agencies “to maintain law and order across the communities. The Neighbourhood Safety Agency will be established to register all private home security and any other person employed for private home security, among other things.”
On properties protection law, Ambode acknowledged that one main issue that discouraged investors and hindered the ease of doing 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.
He said the 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 hindrance or intimidation henceforth.
“The 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.
“The law will, also, ensure that the Special Task Force on Land-Grabbers work with all security agencies to ensure enforcement of state government and private property rights in the state, and ensure proper coordination of the efforts of the various agencies of government charged with enforcing the state government’s rights over land in Lagos,” he said.
Also speaking on the laws, Kazeem recalled the donation of security equipment to security agencies on two occasions within six months, which aided the police and other security agencies in reducing crime by 70 per cent.
The attorney-general added that the laws would go a long way in further providing the necessary legal, human and material support to security services in the discharge of their duties.