Priscilla Ofunre, Ado-Ekiti
The Ekiti State Government has taken a bold step to curb the menace of land grabbers locally known as “Omo Oniles” by laying the foundation for anybody who violates the Anti Land Grabbing Law.
Governor Kayode Fayemi had on June 4, 2019 signed into law the Ekiti State Property Protection (Anti Land Grabbing) Law 2019 to prohibit illegal occupation of landed property.
The law also criminalises fraudulent transactions in relation to landed property in the state among others.
To give more bite to the law, the state government, through the Ministry of Justice has set up Landed Properties Transaction Complaints Unit to receive petitions from aggrieved victims of land grab and related offences.
According to a circular signed by the Solicitor General/Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Justice, Mr. Babatope Ojo, the Unit was set up to receive formal complaints from victims of unlawful sale of land and illegal occupation of land and other matters connected herewith.
According to the circular, the Ministry of Justice has been inundated with complaints of unwholesome practices in transactions relating to sale of landed properties since the enactment of the law.
It reads in part: “In response to these complaints, the Honourable Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice has set up Landed Properties Transaction Complaints Unit, to receive complaints from aggrieved persons who have been victims of unlawful sale of land, illegal occupation of land and related matters.
“Aggrieved persons are advised to forward their complaints in writing to: Landed Properties Transaction Complaints Unit, Office of the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Ministry of Justice.
“The complaints must include all relevant documents relating to sale of land, the specific location of the property and purchase receipt, physical address and telephone numbers of the person(s) or company against whom the complaint is being made must be clearly stated.
“Where necessary, the complainant may be required to attend court hearings and give evidence in support of criminal proceedings.
“Notice is hereby given that persons who submit frivolous petitions and unwarranted communications knowing such to be false may be liable to prosecution.”