The menace called land grabbers
Like most south-western states, Lagos state continually battles with the challenge of land-grabbers. Land grabbers are individuals who try to claim land from people on the basis of being the first settlers in an area.
On several occasions, even after purchasing land from these land-grabbers, they still demand for more payments from clients. Clients are also approached by rival land grabbers and forced to make payment to them also.
If you are unlucky, you may later find out that the land-grabber who received payment does not have right over the land.
These land-grabbers have become a significant source of concern for both governments and private citizens. They sometimes act with impunity while maiming and harming persons they find on parcels of land without impunity. Many have lost not just money but also lives because of the activities of these land-grabbers.
Many landed properties are still being encroached by land grabbers three years after the enactment of the Lagos State Properties Protection Law 2016. The law was signed by the then Lagos State Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, seeking to eliminate land grabbing in its multi-various forms that include, forceful possession of landed properties, encroachment, illegal sale and resale of land, illegal use of Law Enforcement Agents and Vigilante Groups to enforce Judgments, misconducts by professionals in land transactions, writing of frivolous and false petitions, unlawful demands by Omonile, touting and other ills.
The impact of their activities has caused many residents to forfeit their properties worth millions of naira and truncated cooperative and individual land development plans.
Narrating his ordeals to The Guardian, a lawyer whose piece of land is among the 24 plots situated in the Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities, College of Medicine Estate, Ogombo/Sangotedo road which has been allegedly hijacked, Mr. Henry Efere said he acquired one of the plots and did a revalidated survey of the land in 2012 asides the earlier survey done on the land. He lamented that a popular swindler in the area grabbed the land.
Efere said, “Sometimes in 2009, some area boys tried to encroach on some part of the land and so we went to court because we couldn’t locate whom the people were, we did not know that when there were tussles over Baale title in Ogombo, they took advantage of that time, acquire the land and resold it to other people.
When we discovered this, we had to go to court, and based on our documents, the court gave judgment in our favour and the judgment was executed through the court bailiff and the police from the states’ Commissioner of Police.
The police now issued a certificate of execution of the warrant in 2010 and since we have been in possession. I fenced the back and the front of the plot, still the land grabber attempted to encroach”.
Subsequently, he said the land grabbers planned to take over about five other plots, which have not been developed apart from his own. He alleged that they wanted to out-twist him so that he wouldn’t go near the land again when they realized that he was a lawyer and the person who wrote the petition to the Inspector general of police.
According to him, the police Inspector General send in SARS, they got them scared and now went to invite a notorious land grabber who has taken over his parcel of land and plans to take four other plots in the estate.
A professor who teaches in the university also recounted how he lost three out of six plots of land belonging to him in Lakowe, Ajah axis to land grabbers.
He said, “I bought land as far back as 2003 at Ajah, and after a while land grabbers came saying they have a blessing of their godfather. They came in and started dragging our land. I fenced my own but they push down one side of my fence and construct another fence and succeeded in taking three plots of my land into their own fence and took my boys’ quarter.
Between 2019 to 2020, the Lagos state government received over 1,000 land grabbing petitions. To avoid land grabbers, it is advisable for clients to buy land from reputable Real Estate companies like Danbel Properties and Investments Limited registered under bodies like Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria (REDAN) that protect its members from the activities of land grabbers.
When you buy land from Danbel Properties, you have a 100% guarantee that you will never have to tussle with land grabbers and their activities will never make you lose your property. Buy a plot of land on one of Windspring or Avalanche park estate today and rest knowing your land is in safe hands.