Ogun State House of Assembly yesterday passed a bill proposing 25 years imprisonment or death sentence if life is involved, for anyone found guilty of placing on any land or landed property any agent for the purpose of forceful takeover. The bill equally spelt out a N5 million fine or 10 years imprisonment or both fine and imprisonment for anyone found guilty of placing on any land or landed property any agent for the purpose of forceful takeover of the said land.
The bill which also provides that in case of kidnapping, abduction, violent rituals resulting in death or grievous bodily harm, forcible detention and related offence “where the person kidnapped, restrained detained, kept, abducted or seized dies in the course, the offender shall be liable on conviction to such punishment as provided for the offence of murder under Section 319 (1) Criminal Code Law of Ogun State, 2006 or such other law for the time being in force. It added that where “the person does not die in the course, the offender shall be liable on conviction to punishment for life with hard labour and without an option of fine.”
The bill 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 a Relation To Landed Properties “ Armed Robbery, Kidnapping, Cultism and Allied matters and For other Matters Incidental thereto or Connected Therewith” was passed at the plenary presided over by Speaker Suraju Ishola Adekunbi.
The Speaker, however, ordered that the clean copy of the bill be sent to the State governor Senator Ibikunle Amosun for his assent.
The passage of the bill followed the presentation of the report of the special/ joint Committees on Lands and Housing as well as Justice, Ethics and Public Petitions led by the Deputy Speaker and Sponsor of the bill, Hon. Olakunle Taiwo after which he moved a motion for its adoption, seconded by Hon. Adebiyi Adeleye and supported by the Whole House.
The members later did clause –to-clause reading and adoption of the Bill by the Committee of the Whole after which the Majority Leader, Hon. Adeyinka Mafe moved the motion for the third reading, seconded by Hon Adebowale Ojuri and supported by the Whole House through a voice vote, thereafter the Assembly’s Acting Clerk, Mr. ‘Deji Adeyemo did the third reading.
The new bill also spelt out punishment for robbery, as according to it, ”any person who commits the offence of robbery shall upon trial and conviction under this law be liable to a sentence of imprisonment of a term not less than twenty-one years”, while that of conviction for armed robbery attracts death sentence.
It would be recalled that the State Government and the Assembly had recently assured that relevant but an all -encompassing bill that proffer a lasting solution to the illegal activities of land speculators/grabbers who had been violently dispossessing people of their landed property in the State was underway to curb the menace.