FIFTEEN-year jail term now awaits those who engage in forceful seizure of any land, otherwise known as land grabbing in Oyo State as Governor Abiola Ajimobi has signed a law that criminalises the act.
If found culpable by the court, offenders may also be given an option of fine of not less than N500,000 or both. This is one of the provisions of the new Real Properties Protection Law, 2016, which Governor Ajimobi, signed into law, at the Executive Council Chambers, in Ibadan.
The law is titled: “A law to protect the rights of property owners and prohibit forceful entry, illegal occupation, violent and fraudulent conducts, in relation to real properties in Oyo State and for purposes connected therewith.”
Part of the law reads: “Anyone who, without lawful authority, uses or threatens violence for the purpose of grabbing any real property for himself or for any other person commits an offence and is liable on conviction to imprisonment of 15 years or a fine of N500,000 or both.”
“Any person who encroaches on any real property commits an offence and is liable on conviction to imprisonment for 5 years or a fine not exceeding N500,000.
“Any person who is on any property as an encroacher and having with him any firearm, dangerous or offensive weapons commits an offence and is liable on conviction to imprisonment for five years.”