(NAN) Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State on Monday signed into law the state’s Neighbourhood Safety Corps and Property Protection Laws.
Ambode, while giving assent to the two bills in Ikeja, said they were central to his administration’s focus of safeguarding the lives of all residents.
He said they would also help to attract, grow investments and improve the ease of doing business in the state.
“In addition to equipping our security agencies, we have now created a legal framework to put some form of communal protection in place to boost and support the great job the Police is presently doing,’’ he said.
The governor said that the Neighbourhood Safety Corps would assist the police and other security agencies within the state to maintain law and order across the communities.
“It will also be charged with the responsibility of registering all private home security and any other person employed for private home security amongst other things.
“One of the issues that discourages investors and hinders the ease of doing business in Lagos is the issue of land grabbing.
“A lot of our would-be property owners encounter untold harassment from exploitative land grabbers.
“This law marks the end of the road for such land grabbers,” Ambode said.
He said that the state’s Property Protection law would give legal backing to the operations of the law enforcement officers.
“The main objective of this law is to ensure that our investors, businessmen and the general populace carry on their legitimate land and property transactions without any hindrance or intimidation henceforth.
“The Property Law will eliminate the activities of persons or corporate entities who use force and intimidation to dispossess or prevent any person or entity from acquiring legitimate interest and possession of property.
“It will ensure that the Special Task Force on land grabbers work with all security agencies to ensure enforcement of State Government and private property rights in the state.
“There will also be proper coordination of the efforts of the various agencies of government charged with enforcing the State Government’s rights over land,” he said.
Ambode urged the Chief Judge of the state to consider setting up Special Courts to try offenders of the Property Protection Law in order to quickly put an end to the menace of land grabbers.
He also advised residents to obey the laws of the land and join hands with the government in ensuring that the rule of law is enthroned always.
The governor commended the efforts of all members of the state House of Assembly for their sponsorship of the bills and their passage of the bills.