LASG warns against fraudulent sales of Government land

The Lagos State Lands Bureau has warned against fraudulent sales of government land, just as it stepped up efforts to address incidents of defrauding unsuspecting members of the public by Land Grabbers, known as ‘Omonile’.

The Lagos State Lands Bureau has warned against fraudulent sales of government land, just as it stepped up efforts to address incidents of defrauding unsuspecting members of the public by Land Grabbers, known as ‘Omonile’.

The Permanent Secretary, Lands Bureau, Mr. Bode Agoro, disclosed this, on Tuesday, while speaking at a stakeholders forum organised by the Bureau as part of the multifaceted approaches to sensitise members of the public on the increasing rate of fraudulent land transactions across the State.

He urged members of the Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria (REDAN), Community Leaders, Land Surveyors and other key players in the real estate sector to see the Land Grabbers menace as a common enemy to the growth of the Real Estate sector and efficient Land Resources management in Lagos.

Agoro said, “These Land Grabbers/Omonile have now taken their game to a new level as they have the audacity to erect signposts bearing Lagos State Government logo and excision application file numbers in their desperate attempt to deceive the prospective buyers into believing that sales of such lands are genuine transactions and have government backing”.

“This engagement is, therefore, crucial at this material time as we cannot afford to fold our arms while some dubious persons continue to take advantage of hardworking and responsible Lagosians by selling illegal lands to them”, he added.

He stated further that the Omonile syndrome had become a big monster plaguing investment in real estate development in Lagos State, maintaining that if not nipped in the bud, it would fester and continue to prevent many well-meaning corporate organisations from making investment decisions due to the confusion, anarchy and avoidable conflicts caused by Land Grabbers’ activities.

In his contribution, the Chairman of the Real Estate Development Association of Nigeria (Lagos State Chapter), Mr. Bamidele Onalaja said members of the Association are fully committed to working with the Lagos State Government to confront the challenge posed by Land Grabbers’ activities in the State.

Also speaking, the Co-Ordinator of the Lagos State Special Taskforce on Lands Grabbers, Mr. Owolabi Arole, noted that in order to drastically reduce incidents of land grabbing and encourage private developers, the Lagos State Properties Protection Law 2016, established a task force to enforce the provisions of the law and vested in it, power to arrest offenders.

Some of the communities where activities of Land Grabbers are most notorious in Lagos State are Okenla Village, Idake Village, Ajao Oki Village, Ladegbole Village, Imedu Village, Iratirin Village, Obadimisi Village, Shekina Alo Village, Fowoseje Village, Iraboko Village, Adamatiye Community, Ogunro Community and Sorogun Community – all in Ibeju-Lekki, as well as Ogombo Village in Eti-Osa and Oshiun Village in Kosofe, Lagos State.

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The Commander, U.S. Africa Command, U General Stephen Townsend, wrapped up a three-day West African visit February 22-25, 2021, with a stopover in Nigeria to meet with the nation’s leaders and further the long-standing partnership and security cooperation between the two countries.

A press statement by the Embassy on Friday, said: “During the visit, Townsend met with the Nigerian President’s Chief of Staff, Ibrahim Gambari, and National Security Adviser, Babagan Monguno, to discuss regional security issues and to express the command’s gratitude for the assistance provided during a hostage rescue operation last year.

“When we asked for their help, the Nigerian government answered the call. Our hostage recovery mission in October would have been impossible without their support.

“They quickly provided assistance that helped the U.S. military to save an American life. That is a strong example of our partnership with Nigeria.”

Townsend also met with senior military officials, including the Minister of Defence, Bashir Salihi Magash, and the Chief of Defence Staff, General Leo Irabor, to talk about on-going cooperation in the region and greater maritime security and threat mitigation.

Nigeria is a key partner in countering violent extremist organizations throughout the Lake Chad Basin.

Townsend said furthermore: “The bilateral relationship between Nigeria and the U.S. is built on several pillars including security cooperation.

“U.S. Africa Command will do our part to advance the security cooperation pillar, so that Nigerians can enjoy the more secure future they all deserve.”

As close partners, the U.S. and Nigeria have worked at ensuring the collaborative relationship continues to grow to include a commitment to interoperability. Nigeria purchased 12 A-29 Super Tucano light attack aircraft, which will be delivered later this year.

“Nigeria’s purchase of A-29 Super Tucano aircraft is another example of their commitment to interoperability and security in the region,” he added. “Our economic relationship with Nigeria is already strong, and we look forward to the continued strengthening of security relationships. Nigeria’s leaders understand the importance of a collaborative approach to ensuring stability in West Africa and partnering on areas of mutual interest.”

The Commander also met with the U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard.

Leonard said: “General Townsend’s visit to Nigeria demonstrates the strategic importance the United States places on our bilateral relationship with Nigeria.

“Our security cooperation partnership with Nigeria’s military will strengthen the country’s capabilities to secure land and sea borders, enhance overall security, and combat terrorism in the North East.”

As part of the visit, Townsend participated in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Nigeria Military National Cemetery to honour those who have given their lives in the service of their nation.

During the visit, the delegation expressed their condolences for the seven service men killed in the crash of a Nigerian Air Force aircraft in Abuja.